Really depressing. thenewgreen and I visited their D.C. headquarters once. I immediately liked the vibe there. It felt like a mix between a magazine's office, and someone's private study. The people we met were low on the totem pole, but they were warm, intelligent, and engaging.
Well, that's a damn shame. Sounds like they're joining the race to the middle, awesome, yay, we don't have enough short form drivel out there. They're going to "break shit" -awesome.
I will never forget that day that we went there. We had taken a couple of meetings prior to that and the first one did not go so well as I'm sure you recall. Then, the second meeting went fantastically. We went into the New Republic meeting thinking to ourselves, "we have nothing to lose here, this is gravy," and it could not have been a more enjoyable conversation. I agree with you that the office had a very chill vibe, it felt old, like it had been around for a long time. It wasn't trying to be edgy, hip etc., it was like an old leather chair in front of a fireplace, or a stack of old encyclopedias. It sounds like they want it to be all chrome, glass and LED lights.
That was one of the most fun days and nights I've had.