A Question I Did Have Time to Ask Alice Rivlin

(Early) Monday Smackdown: Male Ex-Old New Republic Editors Are Simply Not Credible Here...


I agree with Matthew Yglesias here: This from Franklin Foer simply does not pass the most-basic "plausibility" test. "I was totally oblivious to what was going on in the office I ran" = "I took and kept a job at which I was totally incompetent". I don't think anybody has ever called Franklin Foer incompetent. And what we are hearing is not about the various editors-in-chief's ignorance. What we are hearing is about the various editors-in-chief's complicity.


Matthew Yglesias: @mattyglesias on Twitter: "I’m a little confused as to what story we’re being told about male OTNR editors’ knowledge of the situation...

...How can you recommend an article whose first paragraph says it was openly known while denying that you knew anything about it?

Franklin Foer WTF

Cottle on Wieseltier

¯_(ツ)_/¯ @adropboxspace: by talking to your inhouse lawyer about what is and isnt an actionable admission.

Jonathan Chait @jonathanchait Replying to @mattyglesias: As I said, everybody heard he was committing adultery. Other details were know by many fewer people. I'm guessing @mcottle would confirm.

Matthew Yglesias @mattyglesias: I understand what you’re saying. It just seems different than what she wrote. But perhaps I’m misreading.

Jonathan Chait @jonathanchait: Many people consider adultery inappropriate.

Matthew Yglesias @mattyglesias: Again, that seems to me to be an odd read of the story. Or consider @ruth_franklin’s account:

Ruth Franklin: I worked for Leon Wieseltier at The New Republic from 2001 until 2014 Leon gave me the opportunity to review books and encouraged me as a writer in a way that no one ever had before. I owe a great deal to his support and his mentorship, and I feel grateful for it. It was no secret that Leon regularly acted inappropriately with many women on staff, including me. He was no Harvey Weinstein, but he made sexualized remarks and in some cases went beyond that. His actions were largely overlooked because he wielded enormous power and because he was often charming, funny, and brilliant. Regardless of what he intended, numerous women found his actions and remarks patronizing, insulting, or damaging. His behavior and the top editors' complicity in it created an environment in which women on staff were constantly undermined. Despite my personal gratitude to Leon, I am sad and angry that he consistently said and did things that made me and so many other women very uncomfortable—or worse. I hope that the era in which such behavior is silently tolerated is coming to an end.

Jonathan Chait @jonathanchait: Ruth worked directly for Leon and knew much more about him than many other people did.

Matthew Yglesias @mattyglesias: Perhaps she’s mistaken (I wasn’t there and I don’t know) but she says it was “no secret” and refers to “complicity” of “top editors.”

Jonathan Chait @jonathanchait: oh, Ruth's piece? I assume top editors means either Marty or the editor.

**Matthew Yglesias @mattyglesias: I assume so, too. But that seems interesting and important!

Jonathan Chait @jonathanchait: Right. The typical front of the book staffer would get a lot of Leon's opinions on politics at the weekly meeting, little other interaction

Matthew Yglesias @mattyglesias: I understand. But, like, some of these stories made their way to me (admittedly, a known Leon-hater) so I assume some crossed the hallway.

Bolivia @oliviaLbecker: Replying to @mattyglesias: what’s confusing? Everyone knew and now they’re trying to play hot potato

Yellojkt @yellojkt: Replying to @mattyglesias: Please tell me there was not sexual harassment going on at TNR during the @sullydish era.

늙다리 미치광이 @ArrogantMonkey: Replying to @mattyglesias “ooooooooooh that’s what you mean by sexual harassment. I thought it was something else.”

West Coast Centrist @WestCoastNormal Replying to @mattyglesias: It will be a deluge of CYA from people who knew and kept quiet or now realize they were oblivious to what was in front of them.

Geli Tripping @Geli_Tripping: Replying to @mattyglesias: He’s the anti-Socrates: he didn’t know that he knew.

Yarbutus @darosenthal: Replying to @mattyglesias: What he wishes he knew is not the behavior but that it was his job to do something.

Abstain on Cy @manhattannada: Replying to @mattyglesias: Anyone ask Hertzberg or Kinsley yet about Wieseltier?