Posted on | February 14, 2013 | 46 Comments
Chris Hughes: Liberal white-guilt peddler from Elite City
“The New Republic has abandoned its liberal but heterodox tradition and embraced a leftist outlook as predictable as that of Mother Jones or the Nation.”
— Marty Peretz, former publisher of The New Republic
After Facebook zillionaire Chris Hughes purchased The New Republic, he proclaimed that the magazine, which has long since lost the prestige it enjoyed in the 1980s and ’90s, would “strive to be free of party ideology or partisan bias.” This proclamation was instantly falsified by the magazine’s first print cover story under the new publisher, a smear of the Republican Party by Sam Tanenhaus.
That inspired a memorable Twitter beatdown of Chris Hughes by Ace of Spades — if you haven’t seen it, you simply must — who pointed out that, despite its partisan heckling of Republicans as “The Party of White People,” The New Republic‘s editorial staff is a monochromatic swath of vanilla honkydom. What is true of The New Republic is, of course, true of liberalism in general. The folks who were most eager to brand the Tea Party movement “racist” were white liberals, and this tells you something about what Shelby Steele called the White Guilt mentality of liberals: “Vote Democrat, cracker, in order to signify your moral righteousness on race issues.”
Never mind, of course, whether the policies of the Democrat Party actually result in any genuine improvement in the quality of life for African-Americans: When all that matters is your bien pensant good intentions toward black people, the efficacy of policy can be ignored as a trivial concern. Skepticism toward liberal policies becomes evidence of mala fides — for example, you’re a racist if you take seriously the “mismatch” critique of affirmative action — and intelligent examination of alternatives is thereby rendered impossible.
Essential to this way of thinking is the demonization of Republicans as representative of negative values: Racist, sexist, homophobic, greedy, redneck, theocratic, clueless, rich people.
Rhetoric about ideological liberalism thus ignores the unthinking partisanship — the enthusiastic cheerleading mentality that views the success of the Democratic Party as necessary to the good of the American people — which is the genuine nature of “bias” in 21st-century political journalism. The press corps is nowadays overcrowded by propagandists who think of every story in terms of startling simplicity: How will this help Democrats or hurt Republicans?
Isn’t that why the national media have so strenuously tried to ignore the death of Jennifer Morbelli? Bad news for the abortion industry is bad news for Democrats, and therefore a woman’s death after a late-term abortion . . . well, that’s not news at all!
Liberals never examine their consciences, mainly because membership in the Party of Death requires them to discard their consciences, but also because honesty and self-awareness are not prerequisites for success as a partisan hack. The descent of liberal journalism into unmitigated partisan hackdom in the Obama Age is not a phenomenon that The New Republic will ever examine in its pages, because they don’t employ any writers capable of stepping outside the bubble of epistemic closure that envelops them. It is a magazine that employs clever liberal writers to tell slightly less clever liberal readers that their liberalism is synonymous with cleverness — and also, Vote Democrat, you crackers!
UPDATE (Smitty): welcome, Instapundit readers!