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March 31, 2007

Who You Calling Obtuse?

By Ankush

I'm finding James Kirchick (the assistant to Marty Peretz) to be ... interesting.

In the middle of an attack on the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission -- the merits of which I'm not concerned with here -- he offers this up:

IGLHRC's executive director, Paul Ettlebrick, who seems unable to open her mouth about the horrendous treatment of gays overseas without throwing in a line about how awful her own country is, said, "Who is the U.S. to issue a report on every other government in the world on its human rights activities, especially in light of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib?" Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (the former a disgrace and the latter hardly so) should not rise to the level of epic disasters responsible for utterly destroying America's moral authority.

Guantanamo is "hardly" a disgrace? Kirchick, without any sense of irony, proceeds to diagnose Ettlebrick with a "serious case of moral obtuseness." Is someone at The New Republic seriously defending what goes on there?

Inquiring minds...

Update: I corrected the first sentence to note that Kirchick is Peretz's assistant, not Franklin Foer's.  Thanks to commenter DaveMB for the catch.

March 31, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

I don't want to sound inarticulate, but WTF is going on in that magazine? Overfloridation in the water? Did Marty P lead them into some sort of rogue Mossad blackmail trap, to fight for no quarter in the fight to remain unapologetic about arab mistreatment.

Nothing makes me laugh more than Spencer Ackerman ripping the web template and font for TooHotForTNR. Now if he could only get them to stop spamming me. God I hate that fucking newsletter. Kiplingers is going to overtake it on the cultural importance scale any day.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 31, 2007 2:58:19 PM

I found Kirchick...curious...as well, and I'm pretty sure a prior googling revealed that he's a former NY Sun Likudnik. Rome wasn't built in a day, many people think we shouldn't have fired all of the Ba'athists, etc. He's sickening, in all manner of ways, but he's not clearly representative of the dominant voice at TNR, anymore.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Mar 31, 2007 3:14:58 PM

The masthead, at least read literally, says that Kirchick is assitant to the "Editor-in-chief", Peretz, rather than to Foer. This makes sense as Kirchick writes like a Marty clone with the exception of the former's strong interest in gay issues.

Posted by: DaveMB | Mar 31, 2007 3:34:47 PM

Thanks for the correction, Dave. I've heard Kirchick referred to as Peretz's assistant before (Alterman calls him mini-Marty, I believe), but somehow that eluded me. And of course you're right to observe that this makes sense.

But I wonder: What does the assistant to Perez actually do besides infrequently post strange things to The Plank? Seriously. Now that Peretz no longer owns TNR and all...

Posted by: Ankush | Mar 31, 2007 5:25:30 PM

Er, so "Paul Ettlebrick" is a woman? How does that work?

Posted by: John | Mar 31, 2007 5:55:17 PM

John: It's Paula. Kirchick got it wrong in his post, and I just decided to leave it.

Posted by: Ankush | Mar 31, 2007 6:20:15 PM

Peretz is still on the board of directors, besides being Editor-in-Chief. At the time of the buyout, I thought maybe TNR could be saved from the darkside, but it turns out that the new owners are just as wingnutty as Peretz.

When Peretz goes to the great neo-con beyond, his tombstone can be engraved: "Here lays the still body of the man who saved The New Republic from becoming a progressive voice again". RIP to TNR.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Mar 31, 2007 8:04:56 PM

Such a study would be invaluable in the noise machine's quest to justify the indefensible and odious by comparison to others compounding the error elsewhere.

Posted by: opit | Apr 1, 2007 12:54:38 AM

One more reason I'm glad to have cancelled by subscription.. no way I'm gonna support this kind of crap.

Posted by: Thelonious | Apr 27, 2007 11:22:27 PM

Kirchick's right. Around the world, people are horribly persecuted for nothing more than their sexual orientation. Ignoring it is not the answer, and turning to anti-Americanism to correct what's wrong in this country is not the answer either.

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Posted by: judy | Sep 27, 2007 2:50:52 AM

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