December 10, 2007

John Podhoretz, son of the Godfather of the Neo-conservative movement Norman Podhoretz (now serving as foreign policy advisor to Rudy Giuliani), has stepped into his father's position as Editor in Chief of The Commentary, the neo-conservative publication. The NY Times interviewed him on the eve of his legacy ascension, and it doesn't look like J-Pod is going to be any more inclined to give up the failed neo-con policies or sneering the left:

In 1995, you were among the three founders of The Weekly Standard, which is snappier than Commentary and quickly surpassed it circulation-wise. In the '90s, the Clinton years, conservative magazines exploded. The classic rule of thumb is that if you are an intellectual ideological magazine, you do better in opposition than you do if your views are reflected by people in power.

Right. In the Bush years, left-leaning publications like The Nation and The New York Review of Books have flourished. Do you read either one? I look at The New York Review of Books. It's what it has been for 35 or 40 years, which is a highly sophisticated vehicle for anti-American self-hatred.

What do you make of writers like
Eric Alterman, who have criticized your appointment as an act of cronyism, which goes against the conservative belief that jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit and not affirmative action?
That's a very personal thing. Twenty years ago, I refused to shake his hand.

Why is that? Shouldn't you make some pretense of civility toward your fellow writers? I think making a pretense of civility toward Eric Alterman is like making a pretense of civility to a scorpion.

Small magazines used to be associated with lofty ideas, but I wonder if ideas and visions have shrunk in our time into mere political agendas. If you're asking me whether there has been intellectual degeneration in our time, the answer is no. There was plenty of substandard thinking even in the precincts of Partisan Review.

So let's get this straight: the very precepts of your foreign policy have been wrong--genocidally wrong--as even one of your own members has admitted. But you don't think that you and your ilk are suffering from intellectual degeneration into mere political agendas? Boy, do I have a bridge to sell you...

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