I COME NOT TO BURY TNR... Consider this a "before we get too far" post. It should be said, amidst Markos's assault on TNR, that no magazine where the publisher just penned a Gore 2008 endorsement should really be considered "on the other side" or the "Joe Lieberman" weekly. Ryan Lizza's recent work on George Allen's neoconfederate sympathies has been superb, anyone on the left who has the slightest interest in Iraq should be reading Spencer Ackerman's every word, and the magazine is, in general, a strong and forceful advocate for progressive domestic policies. I do, like Jon Chait, worry about the "with us or against us" overtones of Kos's riposte -- the left should judge its allies on more than friendliness and tone.
That said, I was unimpressed with Jason Zengerle's post yesterday and said so. It's simply untrue that Markos commands fealty by dangling advertising revenue. But I take no joy in the accelerating split between "the netroots" and TNR. The basic issue, it seems to me, is not that TNR isn't on the left, but that they don't like much of the left. And, to be fair, the feeling is, at least with Markos, mutual. But while that may be bad, it's deeply distinct from an abundance of ideological disagreement. They can be an intellectually interesting and worthwhile magazine while not being part of the movement. Frankly, the left has too often criticized Bush's binary "with us or against us" scheme to begin falling prey to it themselves.
On a sort of related note, it would be nice if this massive blogospheric infrastructure did more to support the magazines they do like. You hear a lot about the insidiousness of TNR and The Weekly Standard, but there's little effort to strengthen alternatives like The American Prospect or In These Times. The blogospheric audience is a natural fit for a magazine like ours, but I fear there's little crossover between our subscription rolls and TAPPED readers, much less Kos diarists. It shouldn't be that way. If the energy expended on blasting the conservative or "establishment liberal" media were instead channeled towards the affirmative strategy of strengthening forthrightly progressive outlets, we'd all be better off. And by "we all," I'm thinking particularly of myself.
And c'mon, you didn't really think I'd close this post without an exhortation to subscribe, did you? So subscribe!