By: Trevor Loudon
Cross-posted from KeyWiki Blog.
The Washington Post has sold Newsweek to 91-year-old Sidney Harman for $1.00 plus about $70 million in liabilities he will take on.
Declines in circulation and advertising led to almost US $30 million ($40.5 million) in losses last year.
Mr Harman “does not envision any radical overhaul of the magazine, which was redesigned last year with a greater focus on long-form reporting and analysis.”
Many are mystified as to why Sidney Harman, would take over a near terminally ill “liberal” publication at a time in life he should be enjoying his remaining years with his wife California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman.
Sid Harman, made a fortune in the hi-fi business through his company, Harman International Industries, but he is not your typical “conservative” businessman.
Harman, leans to the left politically, having served on the board of organizations such as the Martin Luther King Center for Social Change, the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, The Public Agenda Foundation, Freedom House and as president of the Quaker run, Friends World College. He is also a member of two prominent internationalist organizations, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
In the 1970s, Mr. Harman accepted an appointment in the Carter administration as undersecretary of the Department of Commerce.
Most biographies fail to mention that Mr Harman has served as a Trustee of the far left Washington DC “think tank,” the Institute for Policy Studies.
In 1998 Democratic Socialists of America placed The American Prospect on its list of “DSA-ish” publications.
That is, mags which express the range of our politics, from the revolutionary to the left liberal, and including some sympatico Canadian and British mags.
American Prospect The journal of “liberal” intellectual politics, though half of the writers and one of the co-founders, Robert Kuttner, are socialists. This journal sees its mission as the re-invigoration of “liberalism,” betraying a clear disregard for liberalism’s expressed desire to accept death.
It is worth noting that the “socialist” Robert Kuttner, named above, was a member of JournoList, the now defunct email group of 400 leftish and Marxist journalists accused of attempting to shape the news in Barack Obama’s favor during the 2008 elections and afterwards. At least nine other of The American Prospect writers were also on JournoList.
Sidney Harman’s plans for Newsweek remain unclear, but it seems unlikely that the publication will veer from its current “liberal” direction.