It’s that time again: Time for our annual NR “pay your way, buddy” Webathon. And this year I have a special request. We have recently spent a good amount of time building up our podcasting operation, which is, frankly, exploding. A year ago, we had one NR podcast. As of now, we’re offering seven, and they are proving extremely popular. There’s The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg, which is exactly how you’d imagine a podcast run by Jonah Goldberg would be; there’s The Editors, a weekly political forum that features Rich Lowry, myself, Reihan Salam, and Michael Brendan Dougherty; there’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen, my long-running and peremptorily ending podcast with Kevin D. Williamson; there’s The Great Books, on which John J. Miller discusses the classics of the Western canon with a star-studded cast of academics; there’s Political Beats, which features some of the journalists, politicians, and policy wonks you read every day talking not about current affairs, but about their favorite bands; there’s The Liberty Files, on which David French discusses some of the key threats to individual freedom — and what we can do about them; and there’s Radio Free California, a show, per hosts Will Swaim and David Bahnsen, “about the perilous state of the Golden State.” And soon there will be more.
Which is great news. But it’s also expensive news. About $85,000 news, in fact.
Why? Well, not only are we expanding our studio here in New York City, but we are going to need someone to run it. And by “it,” I mean the whole operation — from scheduling to recording to mastering to chucking the new episodes up on the website. Think George Martin, but with a MacBook Pro, a large calendar, and an eye for headlines.
I’m particularly excited about this project. Podcasts are what you get when you filter the radio through a DVR. They take the focus and precision of the unsullied spoken word and combine it with the flexibility of an on/off button and the advantage of complete archives. There are no flashing chyrons to distract from the conversation; no three-minute soundbites hemmed in by “Breaking News”; no teleprompters, talking points, or nonsense. And if you miss it, so what? Skipped last week’s Great Books while you were on vacation? Worry not. The whole collection is sitting there waiting for you when you get back.
Evidently, many of you feel the same way. If Kevin and I miss a Mad Dogs — or record one later in the week than usual — I get all sorts of emails: “But how will I go to the gym?” or “I drive to Tennessee every Tuesday; now what I am supposed to listen to?” Or: “I have to wait how long?” To this problem, I have only one solution: more podcasts, featuring more NR writers, on more topics, more frequently.
And so I ask: Please help NR by making a generous donation here. Or, if you prefer, contribute here. Or, if neither of those appeal and you want to help keep the U.S. Postal Service in business, you can write a check to “National Review” and mail it to our new address: 19 West 44th Street, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036.