One needn’t wonder over Mrs. Jobs purchase of The Atlantic, after all America is the country where the land thief and murderer were king: the trials and tribulations of the arriviste was one of the great themes of that insufferable snob and literary genius Henry James. Isn’t the arrival of the Computer Genius and his successor the Internet Entrepreneur just an addition to the Book of American Characters? Please don’t forget Lewis and Clark or the Buffalo Hunter, as part of America’s rough and ready pioneer history, that all those pretenders of the present seek to wash themselves clean of, in this case Mrs. Jobs. It all stated in a garage and ended up where?
Amazon peddler Bezos purchased the Washington Post, and got a $600 million CIA contract. He’ll publish CIA propaganda, in a newspaper that once stood for bourgeois political respectability and political uprightness, of a very specific kind. While upholding the banner of American Exceptionalism under the management of Katharine Graham and editorship of Ben Bradlee, and their star reporters Woodward and Bernstein. This reportorial duo made the reputation of the Post.
Is there a more stogy and boring publication than The Atlantic? One founded by Abolitionists and eventually run by hacks like the Social Darwinist loudmouth Mort Zuckerman, and David Bradley who called this American publication ‘an enterprise’ :that was once a part of the Political/Moral compass, that defined in the starkest terms, what ‘all men are created equal’ meant in the crisis ridden era of slavery/white supremacy.
The Atlantic is the home of the self-appointed Philosopher King and or Wise Republican Elder David Frum. Who has free reign to write at tedious length, as the acolyte of the mendacious ‘Philosopher’ Leo Strauss, on various pressing questions of moral/political import. He has graduated from his short lived status as Bush The Youngers’ propagandist: ‘Axis of Evil’ !
The careful reader will note the close association between this magazine and The Aspen Ideas Festival. A revelatory sample of its attendees and speakers: Arianna Huffington, Davis Brooks, Thomas Friedman and other luminaries of the dismal Neo-Liberal political present, all underwritten by the Koch brothers. The political/moral destiny of this magazine can be charted from Abolitionism to Corporatism: call this historical trajectory what it is, not just a de-evolution but a degradation, or even more pointedly, a betrayal of moral/political vision of its founders. Now reduced to mere sloganeering.
The pressing question: what does Mrs. Jobs bring to the real, the actual tradition of The Atlantic?