The group blog of The New Republic
August 5, 2013
MAYFIELD, Ky. – That Mitch McConnell really does have a reelection fight on his hands was apparent to me even before I got to Fancy Farm, the glorious western Kentucky combo of county fair and old-fashioned political hoedown. I could tell it as soon as I stepped inside the community center in Calvert City that was hosting the local GOP warm-up event on Friday night, the evening prior. If the room had been any more low energy, they might’ve had to bring in one of those wind turbines that people like to scorn in coal country, just to keep the electrons flowing.
The Washington Post was once one of the nation’s two great newspapers. It covered not just Washington, but the world, and it did so according to canons of objectivity handed down by the current publisher’s great grandfather, Eugene Meyer. Meyer was a member of a bygone elite. He made many millions on Wall Street and as an industrialist, but by the 1920s was devoting himself to public service—as official in successive administrations and as chairman of the Federal Reserve. In 1933, he bought the Washington Post at a bankruptcy sale.
American men aren’t sure what it means to be an American man anymore. And any who think they are sure will be readily disabused of the notion by opening almost any old paper or magazine, in which their confused identities are sure to be under discussion. This alleged masculinity crisis was best laid out in last year’s sharply reported The End of Men, and this summer it spread to the silver screen, too: We are a nation without a new generation of bona fide male movie stars.
As news of CNN and NBC's dueling Hillary Clinton projects broke and season two of "The Newsroom" hurtled through treatises on Occupy Wall Street and Joseph Kony, we got in touch with the show's creator, Aaron Sorkin, to chat about the way TV drama handles politics in the post-"West Wing" era.
Sometime in the summer of 2009, back when I still worked as a reporter at The Washington Post, I found myself chatting over beers at the Post Pub, the unvarnished establishment cater-corner from the paper, with a business-side employee who mentioned a rather disconcerting stat: On one day in March of that year, in the very darkest days of the recession, there had been in the classified ad pages one job-wanted ad.
When I was in high school, one of my classmates tried to get the Washington Post to buy an ad in the literary magazine. She was turned down. But the rejection came with a hand written note from Donald Graham, then the paper’s publisher. If he bought the ad, he explained, he’d have to say yes to every other teenager who came his way. But, he added, “some time when you’re just a bit older, I want to talk to you about coming to work here.”
When Rupert Murdoch bought Dow Jones & Co., including The Wall Street Journal, for $5 billion six years ago, there was no need to wonder what his politics were.
With this afternoon’s news that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has purchased The Washington Post for $250 million, Twitter went predictably haywire. Reflections on the historical magnitude of the purchase were matched only by the desire to evaluate the (relatively) small price tag. Below, just a few of the (many) things that were bought and sold for more than one of the nation’s news flagships.
The Huffington Post:
Addressing the National Press Club in its wood-paneled ballroom on Monday, Texas state Senator Wendy Davis fended off the same question before she even started her speech, the moment she finished it, and (disguised in different wording) at regular intervals throughout the Q&A: Will she run for governor in 2014?