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, who also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town, is an NPR media analyst and a journalism professor at Boston University.
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