The New Republic has quietly dropped at least five prominent Jewish writers from its masthead in a move that may signal the publication’s continued drift away from a staunchly pro-Israel standpoint.
The magazine has launched an aggressive new editorial direction under the ownership of wealthy socialite Chris Hughes, who is best known for sharing a room with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University.
The names of several prominent Jewish writers from both the left and right of the political spectrum were dropped from TNR’s masthead in the latest issue.
They include: Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake, longtime TNR columnist James Kirchick, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, and onetime senior editor Lawrence Kaplan. Complicating the picture, former TNR editor Peter Beinart was also dropped from the masthead. Beinart is the publisher of Open Zion, an anti-Zionist Daily Beast blog sponsored by the New America Foundation.
Each of these writers had been well-respected longtime contributors to the magazine and frequently wrote about Israel and the Middle East.
Hughes’ tenure at TNR has been marked by conflict and controversy.
Soon after purchasing the publication and crowning himself "publisher and editor in chief," Hughes took the venerable liberal magazine in an uncharted direction.
He quickly fired the magazine’s editor in chief, Richard Just, and reinstalled former editor Franklin Foer, who had left after presiding over a scandal surrounding a series of fabricated reports from Iraq.
Hughes, a major Obama donor, was able to secure an exclusive interview with President Obama to carry the re-launch of the magazine. In the softball interview, Obama conceded, "Democrats, we've got a lot of warts, and some of the bad habits here in Washington when it comes to lobbyists and money and access."
Seven additional writers have been dropped from the newly redesigned masthead.
They include: Gregg Easterbrook, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Jeremy McCarter, Maggie Scarf, R.V. Thaw, Alan Wolfe, and Robert Wright.