Contributor Post Created with Sketch. I Rise in Defense of Purging the New Republic

 

shutterstock_160228961By now the whole universe—or at least everyone in New York and Washington who reads The New Republic and thus thinks their universe is the universe—knows that some utterly vulgar Silicon Valley yutz marched into The New Republic, said something utterly vulgar about turning it into a “vertically integrated digital media company,” and made all the journalists there cry. Then they all resigned en masse, which prompted everyone on Twitter to talk about the death of a Great Institution and how awful these vulgar Silicon Valley yutzes are and how great it is that everyone resigned and how much they hate Buzzfeed. It was a really big deal, if you’re the kind of person in New York or Washington who reads The New Republic.

Point 1: If so many people are deeply appalled, I am surely in favor. I don’t know why yet, but I’ll find a reason.

Point 2: Take a look at this. This is the list of the names of people who resigned.

B4GZnWDIcAAz-Om.png-small

What does that say to you? I know what it says to me. It says, “Some Silicon Valley yutz with more money than sense—and a magazine on his hands that somehow he’s got to publish—is hiring.”

So without further ado:

Dear Chris Hughes,

I like Buzzfeed. I agree that Leon Wieseltier was just becoming a total insufferable windbag. I like it that you made a lot of journalists cry. That, to me, says “This Chris guy’s got the right stuff.”

So I wonder if you would kindly consider me for the position of editor-in-chief of The New Republic. If given a chance, I will use my proven skill in helping Silicon Valley yutzes vertically integrate their digital media companies, and I will help you to vertically integrate your media company digitally. I can also help you integrate your vertical company media, or digitalize the company of your media vertical. Or anything vertical, really—I’ve got the full compliment of Homo Sapiens talents. I’m totally bipedal. I eat, sleep, and breathe integration. Heck, I’ll vertically integrate every damned thing I see—I’ll vertically integrate your dog, your washing machine, your tax returns, whatever you want digitally verticalized and integrated, you just tell me and it will be integrated. Vertically. Frankly, the only really relevant point as far as I’m concerned is that you have a lot of money.

I’m guessing the last thing you need is another fussy, self-important, hysterically-resigning prima donna of a journalist on your hands. So let me reassure you that I’m just not like that. I’m really cool. No-drama-Berlinski, they call me. Or someone did, once, before he got to know me for about five minutes. And never, ever, have I publicly described myself as “an intellectual.”

So please, can I have some of the money? I would really like that.

Give me a call, Chris. I’m down with the plan. I’m into your vision. Let’s disrupt things. I know that’s not how you put it, but I’m not allowed to explain precisely how you put it in this particular vertically integrated digital media vehicle. However, I am sure I can adapt to your new company culture and disrupt whatever you want in whatever vernacular you choose.

Yours vertically,

Claire Berlinski

PS: I bet I could be a dance editor, too. I mean, how hard could that be?

There are 27 comments.

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  1. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Claire Berlinski: …or at least everyone in New York and Washington who reads The New Republic and thus thinks their universe is the universe…

    … or who want people to think they read the New Republic, because it’s a hallmark of being the right sort of people …

    “The In-Flight Magazine of Air Force One.”

    NOBODY READS IN-FLIGHT MAGAZINES!!!

    • #1
    • December 5, 2014, at 10:49 AM PST
    • Like
  2. Justine Olawsky Inactive

    Best cover letter ever!

    • #2
    • December 5, 2014, at 11:07 AM PST
    • Like
  3. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You go, girl!

    • #3
    • December 5, 2014, at 11:10 AM PST
    • Like
  4. Dex Quire Inactive

    That are funny Ms. B.

    Though I still have a soft spot for Leon Wieseltier — he sent out a great defense of the humanities a while back (confirming the old cliche that everyone is conservative about the thing or things they know about); plus he gets Hall of Fame status for his takedown of Cornell West. Sorry I couldn’t post the links to those articles because the NR has a massive survey preventing access to their site.

    • #4
    • December 5, 2014, at 12:07 PM PST
    • Like
  5. Tree Rat Member

    I look forward to your first issue.

    • #5
    • December 5, 2014, at 12:17 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dear Mr. Hughes,

    I am writing this letter to offer my highest level of support to Ms. Berlinski’s application for the job of Editor-in-Chief of the New Republic. I can attest to Ms. Berlinski’s high degree of skills at vertical integration and horizontal symbolic expression. Ms. Berlinski has revolutionized the paradigms of other silicon based Ethernet publications, metastasizing their distribution and reoriantating their horizontal structures into more vertical synergies. Her industry fluidity is only matched by her selfless team oriented sentience.

    Do not fail to jump on the opportunity to hire here for your vertical integration needs, because only she can guarantee you a full ninety degree shift from The New Republics current arrangement. And, as you are well aware anything short of that will fail to be vertical.

    Regards

    Herr Valiuth von Der Deutchesmodewortanstalt.

    • #6
    • December 5, 2014, at 12:25 PM PST
    • Like
  7. CuriousKevmo Member

    My first thought upon reading that list was the “Senior Editor” is apparently an entry-level position. Are there any “Junior Editors” or “Editors” or “Associate Editors”

    • #7
    • December 5, 2014, at 12:54 PM PST
    • Like
  8. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Claire,

    I’m with you all the way Claire so count me in. I can do the prima donna thing really well. Also, I’m not prejudiced by anything like experience or proper credentials.

    SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
    • December 5, 2014, at 1:06 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Profile Photo Member

    I’d just like to be the poetry editor.

    As I’m familiar with all of the 20-something letters of the alphabet I’m sure I’d do an awesome job, and it would look cool on my resume, too.

    Plus, as I’m not a fan of how poetry works now, whatever poetry is, I could credibly say I’d like to “break things” and “shake things up” to create a fabulous digital poetry experience.

    I’m the one you’ve been waiting for, Chris Hughes!

    Hire me!!

    • #9
    • December 5, 2014, at 1:35 PM PST
    • Like
  10. Profile Photo Member

    Dear Mr. Hughes:

    Please accept this letter of recommendation on behalf of Ms. Berlinski. While I have never personally meet Ms. Berlinski, nor have I ever worked with her directly, nor vertically, nor digitally accept in an avocational way, nor have I ever witnessed her actual vertical integration of anything digital, nor for that matter her integration of anything vertical, nor for that matter her digital vertification of anything integrational, I can comment on her splendid prose. To wit: hire her. In lieu of any relevant testimonial, I submit her letter above as proof positive of her digital integrationating verticality.

    Respectfully yours,

    Antonio Salieri

    Imperial Kapellmeister,

    Vienna

    PS: I hear you are looking for a music editor. Please find resume attached.

    PPS: I have a marvelous idea for a coffee table book, A History of Cat Ladies, fully vertical, digital, and integrated!

    • #10
    • December 5, 2014, at 6:08 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Dex Quire:That are funny Ms. B.

    Though I still have a soft spot for Leon Wieseltier — he sent out a great defense of the humanities a while back (confirming the old cliche that everyone is conservative about the thing or things they know about); plus he gets Hall of Fame status for his takedown of Cornell West. Sorry I couldn’t post the links to those articles because the NR has a massive survey preventing access to their site.

    I am no-how-no-way having a serious conversation about anything related to this New Republic imbroglio until the current collective Beltway Elite Pretension Hormone (also known as hBEPH) drops from its current average value of 17 back to normal human ranges, which according to blood tests should be between .5 and maximum 4.5. So very clearly, a great many people need immediate critical care for this condition lest they die or be permanently disabled by the dread BEPH Syndrome, and discussing Wieseltier’s oeuvre is not our priority here. I understand the Centers for Disease Control is monitoring the situation closely and publishing a daily “Vital Signs” report.

    I will keep you posted if there is anything further you need to know. but as far as I understand, there is no reason to panic. The virus has not yet been aerosolized. It remains transmitted only by unprotected sexual conduct or drinking Cocojitos at the 18th Street Lounge. I am sure basic handwashing and limiting your exposure to the kind of people who take “What happened at the New Republic very, very, very seriously” should keep you perfectly safe. (Some bright spark here is sure to suggest “quarantine,” I am sure, but may I just point out that this would be unfair, unwise, and will only impede essential efforts to stop these outbreaks at the source and get medical help to precisely the sufferers who need it most; and besides, Ricochet members are much more likely to die in a freak lawnmower accident.)

    Once the outbreak is under control–and I am sure that under the competent stewardship of our federal government it will be, soon–then we can have an adult conversation about Leon Wieseltier, who, I agree, was once a very talented writer and may one day be again, God willing, if he survives this terrible ordeal. And I do not mean the ordeal of getting canned, or “disrupted,” as Chris Hughes would put it (there’s a missing particle or word in both of those verbs, but one unsuitable for Ricochet), but rather his severe case of acute BEPH Syndrome.

    God be with you, Leon, in your fight for your life and your dignity, and I look forward to the surely very humane and touching essays you will write to use your platform to raise awareness of the dangers of this disease and the way we must work together to end it. I mean, the way we must all work together as a community to end it. (The old Leon might have eschewed such a cliché, but the new one very well may not; this is not the point, however; the point is that surely all our prayers are with you at this terrible time, and that today we are wearing ribbons–in Ivory Dust Antique White with subtle Cerise lowlights–to show that we support you.)

    • #11
    • December 5, 2014, at 7:37 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    CuriousKevmo:My first thought upon reading that list was the “Senior Editor” is apparently an entry-level position. Are there any “Junior Editors” or “Editors” or “Associate Editors”

    Who cares, as long as they pay on time? I am not sure you’re grasping in full what it’s like out there for journalists. We have been so “disrupted”–vertically, horizontally, laterally, and in every dimension of an infinite-dimension Banach Space–that we’d all be thrilled out of our wits to land a gig writing for Aeroflot’s in-flight magazine. I don’t care what my title is. Call me the sub-minor-subordinate-apprentice-hip-hop-intern, if that’s your pleasure. Just pay me, for the love of God.

    • #12
    • December 5, 2014, at 8:08 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    James Gawron:Claire,

    I’m with you all the way Claire so count me in. I can do the prima donna thing really well. Also, I’m not prejudiced by anything like experience or proper credentials.

    SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    You’re in like Flynn, Jim. Just let me handle it and get where I’ve got to go. I get to his wallet, I promise to leave no man behind.

    • #13
    • December 5, 2014, at 8:24 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Xennady:I’d just like to be the poetry editor.

    As I’m familiar with all of the 20-something letters of the alphabet I’m sure I’d do an awesome job, and it would look cool on my resume, too.

    Plus, as I’m not a fan of how poetry works now, whatever poetry is, I could credibly say I’d like to “break things” and “shake things up” to create a fabulous digital poetry experience.

    I’m the one you’ve been waiting for, Chris Hughes!

    Hire me!!

    If you don’t mind a little suggestion–constructively offered and all of that–I think this application would work better in dactylic pentameter. (Iambic being such a dead-white-guy thing.) Once you nail that, I’ll send it along.

    • #14
    • December 5, 2014, at 8:27 PM PST
    • Like
  15. Pat Sajak Contributor

    That might just cause me to renew my subscription!

    • #15
    • December 5, 2014, at 8:29 PM PST
    • Like
  16. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Pat Sajak:That might just cause me to renew my subscription!

    At the very least one might consider it respectable enough to shoplift or digitally pirate.

    • #16
    • December 5, 2014, at 9:08 PM PST
    • Like
  17. Crow's Nest Inactive

    Mr. Hughes,

    Forgive my sailors mouth but I think your magazine could use some bluntness:

    If you want a magazine with an impact that smart but unpretentious people read, and that has currency–i.e. a magazine that doesn’t suck–hire Claire.

    Cheers,

    CN

    • #17
    • December 6, 2014, at 4:57 AM PST
    • Like
  18. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Hey, he’s here: @chrishughes. I’m sure he’d be beyond delighted to learn that what must be looking to him now like quite the disagreeable problem in fact has a perfect solution. 

    • #18
    • December 6, 2014, at 5:45 AM PST
    • Like
  19. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I not even write so good but much like money from Internet yutzs wallet to. Still have electric typewriter in basement.

    • #19
    • December 6, 2014, at 6:57 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Dex Quire Inactive

    Claire Berlinski:

    Dex Quire:That are funny Ms. B.

    Though I still have a soft spot for Leon Wieseltier — he sent out a great defense of the humanities a while back (confirming the old cliche that everyone is conservative about the thing or things they know about); plus he gets Hall of Fame status for his takedown of Cornell West. Sorry I couldn’t post the links to those articles because the NR has a massive survey preventing access to their site.

    I am no-how-no-way having a serious conversation about anything related to this New Republic imbroglio until the current collective Beltway Elite Pretension Hormone (also known as hBEPH) drops from its current average value of 17 back to normal human ranges, which according to blood tests should be between .5 and maximum 4.5. So very clearly, a great many people need immediate critical care for this condition lest they die or be permanently disabled by the dread BEPH Syndrome, and discussing Wieseltier’s oeuvre is not our priority here. I understand the Centers for Disease Control is monitoring the situation closely and publishing a daily “Vital Signs” report.

    I will keep you posted if there is anything further you need to know. but as far as I understand, there is no reason to panic. The virus has not yet been aerosolized. It remains transmitted only by unprotected sexual conduct or drinking Cocojitos at the 18th Street Lounge. I am sure basic handwashing and limiting your exposure to the kind of people who take “What happened at the New Republic very, very, very seriously” should keep you perfectly safe. (Some bright spark here is sure to suggest “quarantine,” I am sure, but may I just point out that this would be unfair, unwise, and will only impede essential efforts to stop these outbreaks at the source and get medical help to precisely the sufferers who need it most; and besides, Ricochet members are much more likely to die in a freak lawnmower accident.)

    Once the outbreak is under control–and I am sure that under the competent stewardship of our federal government it will be, soon–then we can have an adult conversation about Leon Wieseltier, who, I agree, was once a very talented writer and may one day be again, God willing, if he survives this terrible ordeal. And I do not mean the ordeal of getting canned, or “disrupted,” as Chris Hughes would put it (there’s a missing particle or word in both of those verbs, but one unsuitable for Ricochet), but rather his severe case of acute BEPH Syndrome.

    God be with you, Leon, in your fight for your life and your dignity, and I look forward to the surely very humane and touching essays you will write to use your platform to raise awareness of the dangers of this disease and the way we must work together to end it. I mean, the way we must all work together as a community to end it. (The old Leon might have eschewed such a cliché, but the new one very well may not; this is not the point, however; the point is that surely all our prayers are with you at this terrible time, and that today we are wearing ribbons–in Ivory Dust Antique White with subtle Cerise lowlights–to show that we support you.)

    Too funny…ribbons in ‘Ivory Dust Antique White with subtle Cerise lowlights’…you just hammered in the killer spike…

    • #20
    • December 6, 2014, at 9:40 AM PST
    • Like
  21. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    James Gawron:Claire,

    I’m with you all the way Claire so count me in. I can do the prima donna thing really well. Also, I’m not prejudiced by anything like experience or proper credentials.

    SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    You’re in like Flynn, Jim. Just let me handle it and get where I’ve got to go. I get to his wallet, I promise to leave no man behind.

    Claire,

    I’M IN LOVE!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #21
    • December 6, 2014, at 5:44 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Mister D Member

    Homo sapiens. “H” capitalized, not the “s”.

    • #22
    • December 7, 2014, at 1:43 PM PST
    • Like
  23. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    If that list of former editors is correct, it looks like the Jews really are taking over the world. Another advantage for Claire.

    • #23
    • December 7, 2014, at 4:15 PM PST
    • Like
  24. Underwood Inactive

    RushBabe49:If that list of former editors is correct, it looks like the Jews really are taking over the world. Another advantage for Claire.

    This reminded me of a funny crack Jonah Goldberg made during a very earnest discussion of race relations with Peter Beinart. See here.

    • #24
    • December 7, 2014, at 5:53 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Great Ghost of Gödel Inactive

    Claire Berlinski:Who cares, as long as they pay on time? I am not sure you’re grasping in full what it’s like out there for journalists. We have been so “disrupted”–vertically, horizontally, laterally, and in every dimension of an infinite-dimension Banach Space

    Pfffft. Let’s talk Hilbert spaces.

    Crazy idea: get an advance on the Cat Lady book?

    • #25
    • December 8, 2014, at 7:21 PM PST
    • Like
  26. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    RushBabe49: here

    I’m too very very very busy and important to watch that right now, but I will say that I have filed complaint upon complaint with the International Zionist Conspiracy Division of Labor and Management Board; I have submitted all the paperwork required to establish my credentials and my entitlement to the perquisites of membership of that organization, down to proof of at least one parent who spent years in Freudian analysis (and I have the receipts to prove it), and my proven willingness to manipulate the international currency markets, if not my success–well, perhaps my utter failure, but damn it, shouldn’t it be enough that I have proof that every one of my ancestors came from some backward shtetl in, I guess, Lithuania, probably, or somewhere like that, and that I am more than capable of enjoying self-involved, sexually-fixated novels about insurance salesmen in Newark? Does that not say, “Qualified,” to you? Does that not at least say, “Worthy of at least a timely, if not a positive response?”

    And what do I get? Silence. Total silence from my own flesh-and-blood. Well, don’t you worry about changing my lightbulb, International Zionist Conspiracy. I know you’re very busy with your “lives of your own.” I’ll just sit here in the dark.

    • #26
    • December 8, 2014, at 8:22 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Mister D:Homo sapiens. “H” capitalized, not the “s”.

    If I came from the culture in which such things were done, I would now commit seppuku.

    I cannot believe I did that. I, of all people. I have lost it completely. That four-day spell with no non-cat contact did me in more than I realized.

    I wonder how neurotic it would be to send an e-mail to the editors demanding not only that they fix that immediately but somehow make the whole mistake disappear from the entire Internet, forever, no matter how skilful anyone might be with such tools as the way-back machine or even if they work for the NSA? I bet it could be done in Europe. Right-to-be-forgotten and all.

    What do you think, everyone–reality check here, help keep me grounded–is that something worth asking our editors to do?

    • #27
    • December 8, 2014, at 8:33 PM PST
    • Like

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