The L.A. Times descends into civil war!

A mostly political Weblog.
March 25 2007 3:44 AM

The LAT Descends Into Civil War!

Why the best thing it could do is disappear.

(Continued from Page 8)

P.S.: The word "neoliberalism," at least in its domestic context, was coined by The Washington Monthly'sCharles Peters in 1978. (It didn't start, as David Brooks declared, with a Kinsley tax editorial in 1981). Recently, the editors and former editors of Peters' magazine, The Washington Monthly, had a dinner to celebrate his 80th birthday. Out of the approximately 45 Peters proteges there, how many had supported the Iraq War? My guess is no more than 8.  Peters himself certainly didn't support the war. Neither did Kinsley. Monthly alum James Fallows (who wasn't at the dinner) tried to stop it with cautionary articles in The Atlantic. The war's a New Republic thing--and a David Brooks thing--not a Washington Monthly thing.

It would be more accurate to say that Brooks' war killed Peretz's magazine.

P.P.S.: I'm not saying there isn't a large movement of bloggers, activists, etc. who (as Brooks says) want "a Democratic Party that fights" Republicans rather than attacks itself, who are substantively "further to the left"--concerned more about wage stagnation than the problems of adversarial unionism--and who regard neolibs like Joe Klein as contrarian Fogies. What I deny is that we Fogies have lost--that what Peters called neoliberalism deserves the smug, mutually-reinforcing obituaries from Jonathan and Ezra and Ben. More on this later. ...

**--And because David Brooks needed a column. 4:48 P.M. link

Sunday, March 11, 2007

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Who Killed Premiere? I blame the aptly-named David Pecker, who cut off its journalistic balls. Per the L.A. Times:

Peter Biskind, who spent a decade at Premiere as executive editor under founding editor Susan Lyne and went on to write bestselling books about Hollywood, such as "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls," said one of the reasons the magazine was so good in its early days was because "we weren't beholden to the studios. That gave us a lot of freedom to do hard-hitting, in-depth reporting." ... [snip]

After Lyne's departure, [Chris] Connelly became editor in chief in early 1996, and [Nancy] Griffin was his deputy editor. But the two top editors abruptly resigned in May of that year after publisher Hachette Filipacchi's then president and chief executive, David Pecker, gave Connelly an order to kill Premiere's California Suite column about Planet Hollywood, a celebrity-themed restaurant chain that had ties to billionaire Revlon owner Ronald Perelman, who was half owner of Premiere.

The order was the last straw in a series of decisions that Connelly and Griffin felt compromised the integrity of the magazine.

These included a request to publish a picture of Revlon models in a page of Oscar party coverage and the placing of Perelman's then wife, Patricia Duff, on the masthead as editor at large. Pecker, in interviews at the time, denied the magazine was acting under any kind of pressure from Perelman. [E.A.]

After Connelly left, the publisher's idea was apparently to turn Premiere into more of a toothless fan mag. The failure of that approach is a small bit of evidence for the perennial readers-want-real-journalism argument--an argument I'd like to believe. ... By the time Premiere collapsed years later, of course, Pecker was off  pursuing  fresh failures. ... 8:07 P.M. link

Note that a Las Vegas Review-Journal's editorial--blasting the Democratic "netroots" for successfully pressuring Nevada Democrats to cancel Fox News' co-hosting of a Dem candidates' debate--essentially concedes and ratifies the (accurate) netroots view that Fox isn't "fair and balanced" but an organ of one side:

[F]ar-left Democrats have no comparable media outlet, nor any widespread national appeal, for their radical views ...[snip] So they attack their rivals' messenger with a reckless barrage of rhetoric that cuts down their own allies with friendly fire. [E.A.]

But isn't the Review-Journal right that it would have been smart for the Democrats to reach "conservatives and 'values' voters" by having Fox run their show? ... Update: Kevin at Bajillion suggests it's smarter to let Republicans stay in their self-deceiving Fox cocoon. ... 5:06 A.M. link

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