Conservative writer David Brooks has finally given us his two cents worth on the whole controversy revolving around the new ownership’s changes to America’s esteemed 100 year old political journal The New Republic. The publication just saw a mass walkout of staff and veteran writers/editors in protest over what they feel is a mistaken path taken by its current publisher, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.
Raised in a Jewish family in Toronto but not overly religious in practice himself, Brooks has taken the side of the former New Republic staffers in a column which appeared Friday in the New York Times. He agreed with the people who fled the formerly venerable publication
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What makes Brooks’ support for keeping The New Republic the same as it was under the more than three decades in which it was owned by Martin Peretz, and his respect for it in general is that the publication has been soundly liberal over the years. Its writers have been known to be highly critical of conservatives such as brooks, even going so far as to mock their writings.
As part of a year-end round up piece entitled “The Sidney Awards, Part I” Brooks wrote, “The country suffered a great loss this year with the destruction of The New Republic at the hands of its callow and incompetent owner, Chris Hughes. Before it was obliterated a few weeks ago, it churned out the usual stream of outstanding essays.”
The article proceeded to give several examples of the new Republic’s past greatness.
The upheavals at the magazine began after Hughes unceremoniously fired two of its long time editors Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier. This came at the same time as announced changes to its content with Hughes bringing in former Yahoo official, Guy Vidra, as its new chief executive.
The exiting staff saw Hughes as nothing more than an overgrown spoiled boy who, when given an antique toy car to play with, decided to take it apart and put the pieces back together in a different order just for the fun of it.
Hughes was forced to suspend publication of the bi-weekly until February due to the loss of almost all of its staff.