January 31, 2013, 12:30 pm
“Hughes Drops Jews” is one eye-catching title for a news item. “Hughes” is the young, rich, and well-connected Chris Hughes, new owner of The New Republic. “Jews” are some contributing editors of the magazine. The item appeared online in TheWashington Free Beacon, which bills itself as “dedicated to uncovering the stories that the professional left hopes will never see the light of day.” It is edited by Matthew Continetti, a Sarah Palin enthusiast and son-in-law of Republican neoconservative William Kristol.
The post was credited to the “staff,” and it was clear that, from the Free Beacon’s perspective, the fact that four of the dropped Jews were strong supporters of Israel implied that TNR, long known for its pro-Israel sympathies, was positioning itself to be more welcome in the halls of the Obama administration. (The president is not a hard-liner who supports all of …
August 30, 2012, 6:10 pm
Just how strong are the University of California’s commitments to academic freedom and free speech? When the California Assembly, by unanimous vote, passed a resolution this week calling on public universities to ban all public funds for any activities that could be viewed as anti-Semitic, university officials ducked. Citing First Amendment concerns, they didn’t condemn the resolution. Instead, they said they would remain neutral. It wasn’t the first time in recent months that they have tried to hide.
The West Wing, the television series so popular among liberals during the Bush years—and surely due for a revival should you know who will be president in 2012 —featured in its first season an episode called “Take Out the Trash Day.” The title referred to the practice, common in Washington, of putting out bad news on Friday afternoons so that no one would pay attention to…
August 19, 2012, 12:10 pm
Interview with CBS’s Mike Wallace, 1959.
When the literary editor of The New Republic asked me to review two new books on Ayn Rand three years ago, I readily agreed. Rand, the Russian-born writer known for her take-no-prisoners defense of capitalism, was beginning to come back into vogue among conservatives, and I recalled hearing that there was a congressman from Wisconsin who was singing her praises and assigning her writings to his staff. I had had my own flirtation with Rand, when I was 18, and although it lasted less than a year, I could never forget a college classmate who kept extensive index cards ready so that he could quote her whenever he deemed the situation appropriate.
The two books were interesting, indeed fascinating. One, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, was written by…