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Foer, He's A Jolly Good Fellow

The Daily Beast's list of the top 25 most influential liberal journalists is one of those horrible buzz-driven contrivances that have multiplied on the internet. This particular one, written by conservative journalist Tunku Varadarajan, is mostly an exercise on passive-aggression and incomprehension of its subjects. (I'm "emotional" on taxes. Fred Hiatt is "a traditional liberal in all matters domestic." It's very strange.)

There is, however, one figure that the list gets right. Frank Foer:

After a long period in which there was no more depressing sight on the newsstand than The New Republic, the magazine, a storied voice for a certain brand of American liberalism, is—Hallelujah!—readable and relevant again. Credit for this must go to Foer, whose skills are as much diplomatic as editorial. The magazine is under crushing financial and staff-cutting pressures: that he puts it out every other week, and puts it out so well, is nothing short of a miracle.

Aside from the opening clause, this is dead-on. Frank is an unbelievably good editor, and the magazine he edits is better than it's been at any time in my almost 15 years here (many of those other years having been pretty good themselves.) I realize that this may sound like salesmanship, but it's honestly the exact same thing I tell my friends. If you haven't tried out the print edition in a while, you should really give it a go. It's smart, lively, and a general pleasure to read.