Politics & Policy

Jonah On The Fast Track


Dear Readers,

Well, we made a nice run of it, didn’t we? Almost exactly one year. But now, alas, the good times are running out. By good times I of course mean all of us lounging around my house in our underwear, eating cold Chinese food and reheated pizza, reading the papers, and watching re-runs of Beverly Hills 90210. No, wait a second, that was just me.

But that doesn’t change the fact that my precious way of life, my venerable and beloved culture-of-one (not counting my staff), is in peril. The waves of changes are crashing about my head. The information superhighway is coming through my neighborhood. Several other clichéd metaphors about the global economy are slapping me around like a red-headed stepchild.

That’s right, it’s what we feared most: I’ve gotten a job (cue ominous music and hawk-screech sound effect). The press releases will reach the chattering classes on Monday. But I wanted you guys to know first.

I am the new editor of National Review Online (the clouds part, beams of light cut through the dimming sky, young forest animals dance to the sound of harp music). My plan is simple: to create a whole new politics of meaning, where every American can feel that there is more to life than the impersonal forces of the global economy that buffet us about. No, wait, that’s not my plan. That’s somebody else’s. MY plan is to provide adequate health care for every citizen … geez, I must be picking up Hillary waves through my fillings. Pretty soon I’ll start thinking I’m Jewish.…

Anyway, my plan is to make National Review Online the indispensable source for conservative news and information as well as a lot of other really cool stuff. But now’s not the time for my mission statement — gotta save some surprises. Instead this is about you guys, the readers who got me the job in the first place. Here’s what you can do:

Stuff 32 cheese doodles into your mouth (it’s true, you can, I’ve seen it done).

Here’s what you can do to help me. Empty your brains (send more brains! — what’s that from?). I want to hear any ideas you have for making this the kind of site you’d be eager to visit fifty, sixty, seventy times a day, the kind of site your boss would fire you for spending all your time on, except for the fact that he too was addicted to it (no, not that kind of site, you sickos). I want this site to be like the little bar lab rats smack when they choose the cocaine pellets over food.

Ideas that include million-dollar doodads or e-commerce schemes for buying the best ‘gator jerky (hmmm, jerky) or fat-be-gone (hmmm, fat) will be received with the enthusiasm they deserve. But if there’s something that has to do with the worlds of news, politics, conservatism, and ideas — that you think would make this a better site, I’d love to hear about it. Also, if you think we could stand to lose certain features the way I could stand to lose 25 pounds, tell me that too (about the features, not the pounds).

In return for your help, your massively increased e-traffic, and ferocious dedication to our advertisers, I will continue to write the Goldberg File every day, or at least try. This might mean that I may have to drag my couch, TV, and the rest of my staff to the D.C. offices of National Review from time to time. But that’s a small price to pay.

Please send your ideas to Votegfile@aol.com (address inactive). And please remember that brevity is not only the soul of wit, it keeps my lips from getting tired when I read your suggestions.

Again thanks very much to you all. Real G-File content will return tomorrow.


Also readers should note that the changes are coming fast. We are already providing new, outstanding, web-only content for National Review. Last night we posted a brand new piece by the incomparable Kate O’Beirne. This weekend our own Rich Lowry (who happens to be my boss, but that’s not why I think he’s not only a handsome man, but a powerful one) will be reporting from Ames, Iowa.


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