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Have Progressive Magazines Lost Their Zest?


Have Progressive Magazines Lost Their Zest?

Now that much is being said and written of the Triumphal Three among our progressive media outlets—The New Republic, The American Prospect and the Washington Monthly Magazine, perhaps, the Chicano Media Center will become the “new” Icon of Tomorrow?  Not likely, of course, in today’s political and staid conversations that is politics, but more than likely, this now tradition of “staid” since the days of the Great Society, will occur and morph into the new “historical” when “minorities” take their rightful place and in the space that is reserved for any presumptive Leadership Cabal that takes on the responsibility for defining and determining the future of the Progressive Movement.  Or perhaps, an overt camouflage of co-option will become the drug of choice when easily provided by the Establishment.

Furthermore, “minorities” having to compete forcefully, and thus, challenging both Univision and Televisa will have to occur and not in some isolated vacuum, despite the current behavior for many political-oriented web sites on the Internet.  And which brings me to the subject of my concern for today, and that being The New Republic moving out of our nation’s capitol and into the Big Apple, and where their digital coverage and the attendant construct will likely be abandoned but only after failing to become even more progressive.

And by way of an explanation, Andrew Sullivan, writing for the Dish, has this to say:

 “But the economic forces of new media are very powerful, and few multi-millionaires seem willing any more to lose their shirts in order to keep them at bay. That noblesse oblige in defense of the highbrow and traditional is now no more. And when I witness the death of these magazines and their culture – one of the great achievements of post-war American life – and I witness the new, fissiparous models emerging, it is hard not to feel a little despair. The new business models are anti-magazines, in a way. What matters online is not the fellowship of writers in a joint enterprise, but the shareability of links, the success of single posts in social media, and the merging of advertising with editorial that blends all forms of journalism into the same corporate, indistinguishable, marketing mush.”

And Jonathan Chait, an alum from the TNR, and writing for the Intelligencer, has this to say in his article and titled, “A Euology for The New Republic,” and dated December 4, 2014:

 “Not long after he purchased The New Republic, Chris Hughes had lunch with me, as he was doing with quite a few journalists around Washington.  At one point, he asked me who the best editor had been during my 16 years.  I had worked for a half dozen editors, several of them great, but it was any easy question.   I replied “Frank Foer” so quickly that Hughes appeared startled.

“I don’t think my answer convinced Hughes to hire Foer as TNR’s editor because I’m sure anybody else who worked with him said the same, and anyway, Frank Foer was born to edit the magazine.  He has a deep, wide-ranging curiosity that spans the gamut from historical and philosophical to vulgar politics and popular culture.  He has an almost freakish ability to understand how other people’s minds work, a talent I have seen him use on me and many others, to find the subject matter that perfectly suits them.  His essay for the magazine’s anniversary issue described how it was founded in Theodore Roosevelt’s living room, and became, and remained, an essential foundation of American progressive thought.  Today, he resigned.

“Frank Foer isn’t leaving TNR because he wasn’t a good enough editor. He is leaving because Chris Hughes is not a good enough owner.”

And with some foresight on my part, the TNR attempting to compete with and from within a technological standpoint,  with such outfits as Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post too, will not survive within the next 20 to 30  years, since we the “minorities” don’t take such media outlets to heart as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Denver Post, The Arizona Republic and the Los Angeles Times and their digital premise for advertising revenue which continues to fall and much to the dissatisfaction of the shareholders, and subsequently, as more competent journalists are leaving the “majors” instead and are opting for crafting their esteemed “minor”  outfits. 

And which brings me back full-circle to the notional of the Chicano Media Service.  Obviously, the Super Wealthy among America’s progressives are not going to step forth, and which leaves the only avenue available and that being public financing.  Thus, the 95 plus Elements consisting of the Great Society, will have to be maintained, at a minimum in our public debates, otherwise, the conservatives will continue to utilize the taxpayer’s pocket book, and done in order to rigorously diminish our future, as in the political meme for our innate being, as is the current meme for being the “deadbeats,” speaking literally and figuratively. And more so, our demographics require all of us and done collectively to address the “unmet needs” of our families, friends and neighbors while leaving no one behind. To wit,  each Progressive person and institution must address our future and where no Second Class Citizenship can be permitted to exist.






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