There’s a whole lot of New Republic bashing in the center-left blogosphere, some of which is perfectly justified, some of which seems a bit excessive and baby-and-the-bathwater-esque. But for a little while now they’ve seen fit to employ and publish a writer named Jamie Kirchick, who is essentially a concern troll, a neo-con performance artist of the written word who lives off of baiting other writers into feuds by mis-characterizing their work and accusing them of being appeasers or anti-semites. My colleague Eric Alterman had to correct the record recently in response to Kirchick smearing him over his views on Israel.

There’s really no point in wasting any time arguing with the guy. There’s nothing there to interact with. But Kirchick’s not really the issue, as Ezra rightly points out here. There’ll always be a market for dishonesty and viciousness in print. Some of it’s even entertaining in a grim kind of way. The question is why the The New Republic chooses to continue to associate themselves with it.