Chris Hughes answered the phones during Facebook’s startup, consequently became a multimillionaire, subsequently joined the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, and eventually bought The New Republic.

It was clear early on that Hughes would make the magazine a house organ for the Obama administration, starting with his 2013 interview of the reelected president, as the redoubtable Dan Kennedy noted at Media Nation.

TNR’s new owner crosses a line with Obama interview

The New York Times goes deep on The New Republic’s latest reinvention. I wrote a couple of pieces for the venerable magazine many years ago, and I wish it well. But I also wish Times reporter Christine Haughney had explored a conflict of interest in TNR’s relaunch: the participation of new owner Chris Hughes in a major interview with President Obama.

Now Hughes is apparently extending his largesse to any and all comers.

From PandoDaily:

[Hughes says his] mission is in re-thinking what the publication should be . . . Part of that means reconsidering the meeting point of business and editorial. Perhaps controversially, he believes the church-state separation between editorial and business is now arcane. As Hughes put it: “I knew that in buying a content and media company, the idea that business sits over here and lets a newsroom do whatever it wants over there is anachronistic.”

God forbid the newsroom should do whatever it wants, right?

Video excerpt:


Meanwhile, the current issue of The New Republic is fat with content and slim on advertising.

Makes you wonder, yeah?



John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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