Big news in media circles: The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz broke
the news today on Twitter that Franklin Foer, brother of novelist
Jonathan Safran Foer and author of How Soccer Explains The World, is
stepping down as editor of The New Republic after almost five years in
the role, with executive editor Richard Just taking his place. Foer
will continue to write for the magazine as an editor-at-large.
In an interview with Yahoo, TNR's longtime owner Marty Peretz, who holds
controversial views and is famously strong-willed, said his
relationship with Foer rivals the close one he had with former editor
Michael Kinsley, and praised Foer as "gifted" and "sweet." Foer told
The New York Times he is making the move to do more writing; he's
currently writing on a book about liberalism's roots in the Progressive
Industry observers are just beginning to weigh in--speculating on the reasons behind the shakeup, assessing Foer's legacy,
and contemplating TNR's future.
- Management Problems? wonders Gawker's Hamilton Nolan: "We suspect that maybe, just maybe, working for Marty Peretz is unpleasant."
- Foer Changed TNR's Tone, observes Yahoo's Michael Calderone: "Foer oversaw design changes and moved the magazine to a biweekly schedule. He also helped shift the contrarian, left-of-center magazine away from the staunch pro-war editorial stance it adopted before the 2003 invasion of Iraq."
- Worst Moment: Running Unproven Allegations From Iraq, tweets Howard Kurtz, in reference to the months of controversy in 2007 surrounding the accuracy of then-anonymous dispatches about troop misbehavior written for TNR by a soldier in Iraq. Foer eventually retracted the stories.
- I Wish Foer Luck But I'm Still Angry At Him, Scott Beauchamp, the soldier who penned the dispatches, tells The New York Observer: "I don't
understand how [Foer] wouldn't even offer any sort of apology after my
first sergeant was convicted of murder, for executing Iraqis." Foer, in turn, told the Observer he understands how Beauchamp feels but stands by his treatment of the incident.
- Richard Just Will Take TNR In A New Direction, reports
Patricia Cohen at The New York Times: Just tells the Times he plans on
transforming TNR's website into a destination for long-form journalism
while continuing the magazine's history of crusading, but with "more
of a swashbuckling mentality," on issues such as human rights, the
environment, immigration, and gay rights. Cohen observes, "At 31, Mr.
Just fits the New Republic’s formula for editors: young, male Ivy