Sunday, April 25, 2010


Via Matt Yglesias and Conor Friedersdorf, I see that Jonah Goldberg is whining that when he was a young right-wing lad in D.C. in the 1990s, he and like minded pals "had many gripe sessions conversations about how hard it was to break-in at places like NR, the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal etc." -- and that "today's 20-somethings" have a similar "frustration with 'the business,'" but get to vent it on the Internet. (He offers no examples of such rants from his juniors, and, in reference to himwself, makes no mention of the family connections that helped get him where he is today.) Matt Y. quotes a Julian Sanchez post from 2008 that makes just the opposite point about how tough life is for young right-leaning writers:

If you're willing to toe a straight party line, on the other hand, let's face it, you can be pretty damn mediocre and still carve out a nice little niche for yourself at any one of a welter of generously funded ideological publications and think tanks. Sure, it's a smaller pond, but you get to be a relatively big fish. You'll always have a book deal waiting at Regnery, a warm guest chair on Fox, editors at NR and the Weekly Standard eager to look at your pitches, handsome honoraria on your speaking tour of College Republican groups, and in your golden years, an undemanding sinecure as the Senior Olin Fellow at the Institute for Real 'Murriken Studies.

Apropos to this is a 2006 New York Observer story I've cited a few times on the subject of the well-oiled machinery for creating and nurturing right-wing writers and pundits. The story focuses on Matthew Continetti, then in his mid-twenties, with a first book about to be published:

... Mr. Continetti graduated in 2003 from Columbia University.... He was awarded a 2002 summer internship at the National Review through the Collegiate Network, a division of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute that was founded by Irving Kristol and William Simon Sr. in 1979, which directs money into American colleges to fight what it characterizes as liberal bias on campuses. The Collegiate Network has an operating budget of approximately $1 million and gives $3,000 grants to right-wing college newspapers across the country (around $200,000 in total.)...

The network also funds yearlong fellowships, of which Mr. Continetti was a recipient upon graduation. He spent his year at
The Weekly Standard as a fellow under Fred Barnes and received a stipend of approximately $28,000 from the network; when it was over, the magazine hired him full time.

And now there's the book deal. [Adam] Bellow [of Doubleday] said that he was taught a "whole generational theory of publishing" by his mentor at the Free Press, Erwin Glikes, who had hired him based on a recommendation from Irving Kristol (who was an acquaintance of his father, Saul Bellow). The theory consisted of finding the best of the younger generation and giving them book contracts....

Wow, sounds like a tough grind.

Bellow, incidentally, was Goldberg's editor for his #1 bestseller Liberal Fascism. Hey, can't a scion help a scion out?

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