It was awful to hear about the layoffs at The New Republic yesterday, both because I have good friends working at the magazine who have provided a generous home for some of my policy-oriented writing, and because no matter what one thinks of the magazine, layoffs don’t just mean that some people who may or not be popular lose their jobs: it means the total number of jobs available to hardworking journalists shrinks. And I was particularly disconcerted to hear that Christopher Orr, a senior editor and the magazine’s film critic, had been let go. Orr is a very good critic, and I very strongly hope he lands on his feet. But I hope that TNR has the good sense to continue with film coverage. There are already too many magazines in Washington that focus exclusively on politics and policy. Strong coverage of popular culture grounds and rounds those magazines out to include the world beyond the capitol. It’s a shame whenever one of those connections is severed.