Right-leaning daily New York Sun has published its much-anticipated final issue Tuesday, succumbing to financial difficulties seven years after taking up the flag of a conservative paper of the prior two centuries. A Zionist publication founded by a breakaway faction from the Forward, the Sun ended its run at the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It can't be said that the newspaper expected anything other than an uphill battle for survival. The creation of the Sun organization was delayed by the attacks of September 11, 2001 and came at a time when newspapers were already viewed as an endangered species. Losses mounted; if the conservative movement's identity crisis didn't doom the Sun, the Wall Street meltdown certainly did. Despite a 60 percent advertising spike in the paper's final month and a 25 percent increase this year, the paper could not find new investors, editor and co-founder Seth Lipsky told staff in comments reprinted in today's paper. The final issue revels in recent praise for the paper, its hard-won scoops and the peculiar moments one might expect amid such a quixotic effort. Some excerpts are after the jump.
Last night, word emerged that The Sun, the right-leaning daily founded by Ira Stoll and Seth Lipsky in 2002, may end up shutting down at the end of the month if the company doesn't find additional investors willing to step in. The Sun has had financial problems since day one and it never made much headway in the circulation department. This time, though, it looks like it could be the end of the line: The paper even posted an account of its problems on its website. (Perhaps in the hope that another super-conservative, Jewish billionaire will turn up with his checkbook.) So why are the Sun's current backers—including Bruce Kovner, Tom Tisch, and Michael Steinhardt, left—giving up? They've got plenty of other stuff to worry about, that's why.
The New York Sun is a decidedly neoconservative paper, known for its rabid defense of Israel and its advocacy of lower taxes. But sometimes you can get lulled by its Metro coverage, or its decent, if staid, arts coverage. Today, though, managing editor Ira Stoll reviews lead neocon Norman Podhoretz's new book World War IV, and Stoll's perspective should put any illusions about the paper's true colors to rest. In Stoll's mind, the war in Iraq is about overthrowing a fascist regime—nothing more, nothing less—and the echoes of the U.S.'s too-late involvement in World War II are very loud. And by that logic, President Bush should be hailed as a hero, not a warmonger, the thousands of Iraqi civilian and U.S. soldier deaths be damned.
Last we checked in on The New York Sun — New York's little rightwing paper that could, the offices of which, we're reliably informed, were placed under the protective gaze of the NYPD after the paper published one of the Danish Mohammed cartoons two weeks ago — cultural editor David Propson had submitted his resignation after editor and founder Seth Lipsky fired one of Propson's critics out from under him, and Propson was taking some time away from the office to decide whether his resignation was really for real. Because we're always fond of a good denouement, we're now pleased to report that Propson finally decided to exit the fledgling daily and had his last day there on Monday. (Why his name remains on the paper's masthead — we checked one of the unclaimed copies delivered to our building's mailroom each day — is anyone's guess.)