In a piece ostensibly about how terrible Damien Hirst is (breaking!), New Republic literary editor and noted crank Leon Wieseltier declares that there is no such thing as "rock bottom," that there is never a point at which things can't get worse, and offers as proof of this maxim the existence of Christopher Hitchens. Allow him to explain:
New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier is unhappy that the New York Times printed an article about how sharia isn't so bad but they'd never print an article about how awesome the Torah is. We weren't crazy about the New York Times running that Styles piece about hipster farmers but you don't see us writing 1,000 words on it, Leon. [TNR]
New Yorker classical music critic Alex Ross as career case study for the youngsters: "Ross started writing freelance reviews for Fanfare, a classical music magazine, which paid him $2 for each review.... Eventually, Mr. Ross says, he got a piece in The New Republic.... [TNR literary editor Leon] Wieseltier helped Ross get hired by The New York Times in 1992 as a 24-year-old stringer, writing about classical music for the culture desk. He was paid $80 for each piece (and people complain about The Times' stinginess today!). 'Of course, I was only paying $675 a month in rent,' he said. While at The Times, Mr. Ross got his first piece in The New Yorker. 'Louis Menand and Adam Gopnik were culture editors at the time, and they had been reading my pieces in The Times,' he explained. 'I wrote one piece a year for four years'—including the obituary for Kurt Cobain, because the magazine didn't have a popular music critic on staff. He was hired as the magazine's classical music critic in 1996."
Leonine New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier comments on the New Yorker in the wake of that publication's hiring of TNR book critic James Wood: "It would be hard to comment on the difference between The New Republic's audience and The New Yorker's audience without sounding vain and snobbish. The pieces we publish, they're more argumentative. They're more agitated and more agitating. They make more fights. They're more scholarly. We allow a touch of wildness." Also a touch of bullshit!
New Republic resident intellectual (and former guest star) Leon Wieseltier offers a kaddish for "The Sopranos."