Saturday, September 02, 2006

Update: Don't wonder any longer

As an update to my earlier post: Those wondering why TNR's Lee Siegal still has a job need to wonder no longer. The writer who famously called The Daily Kos a fascist has been kicked to the curb:

An Apology to Our Readers

After an investigation, The New Republic has determined that the comments in our Talkback section defending Lee Siegel's articles and blog under the username "sprezzatura" were produced with Siegel's participation. We deeply regret misleading our readers. Lee Siegel's blog will no longer be published by TNR, and he has been suspended from writing for the magazine.

Franklin Foer
Editor, The New Republic

I suppose TNR isn't all bad.

Update: Ezra Klien adds more.

Update: You really have to read this to believe it.


Aaron said...

I actually think that this is really good for TNR; one of the worst things about the magaizne isn't just the ridiculous shit that Siegal would write but also his absurdly stuffy editorial policies, which have made reading half of their magazine a real chore. It speaks both to their integrity as a magazine and their saavy that they canned him.

Paul said...

Did they fire him for being a ridiculous writer and stuffy editor, or for defending himself with a sock puppet?

Aaron said...

Presumably the third, which is the only one of the three that's really indefensible.

Tommaso Sciortino said...

So to sum up it speaks to TNRs integrity (or saavy at least). it doesn't speak at all for their editorial judgement.

Paul said...

And, really, I'm not sure it says a whole lot about their integrity. "Writers can't assume a false identity to defend themselves" is kind of a low bar to set for an integrity test, no?

Aaron said...

Well, I think that they probably would have been better off without Siegel for some time, but it's a little silly (especially at an intentionally pluralistic journal like TNR) to fire an editor or a writer for anything other than a lapse in journalistic or editorial ethics.

Also, given that their culture section is traditionally firewalled from the rest of the magazine (in the way that the WSJ editorial section is firewalled from their news section), it's been hard for TNR to can Siegel until now.