For those still wondering about the fate of Muslim-hating erstwhile New Republic owner and editor-in-chief Martin Peretz, they’ve finally made an official announcement: He is now the “editor-in-chief emeritus.” Marty never actually edited the magazine — though he hired and fired editors — but his title and ownership of the magazine allowed him to write first his regular columns and then “The Spine,” his dyspeptic blog. It is the blog that got him in trouble, which just revealed that no one ever read his print column.
And so, according to a recent New York magazine profile of Peretz, they were going to make him stop blogging. Except he kept blogging. And that is because, according to a slightly more recent New York Times Magazine profile of Peretz, he just refused to stop.
Multiple New Republic staff members told me that The Spine would soon be replaced by a rigorously edited weekly Peretz column. In Tel Aviv, Peretz laughed at the thought.
“That’s not going to happen,” Peretz said.
Now, that is going to happen. Sort of. Mostly. “In addition” to the new column, anonymous New Republic editors write, “he will move from writing his blog, The Spine, to writing a column for the website.”
But in his rambling, simultaneously self-pitying and self-aggrandizing goodbye to the title he bought, Peretz leaves the door open:
The fact is that I haven’t done a serious and long article for the print edition in perhaps half a year. That’s what I want to do with some regularity now. (I am keenly aware that articles from the print edition are also served up on the electronic edition.) I suppose I want to have my cake and eat it, too. So I will be writing a weekly column for TNR online but I will indulge in doing a blog post when the spirit moves me.
And apparently the spirit moved him today! At 1:07 p.m. — seven minutes after the time stamp on the post announcing Peretz’s new, diminished role — The Spine was updated with Marty Peretz’s thoughts on Tunisia and Egypt.