The Corner

Re: Brock

Brock’s statement has the tiniest kernel of truth to it but only enough to make the dishonesty all the more poignant. One reason you can be a conservative-journalist-for-life is that there are so few career opportunities for conservatives outside conservative circles. The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, Mother Jones etc are stepping stones to rewarding careers at Time, Newsweek etc. It’s not impossible to get a job at the New York Times after working for a conservative journalistic organization, but it definitely makes it harder. And while, yes, television gigs are still possible, you must accept that you will only be speaking for conservatives for the rest of your life rather than actually offering analysis. Jeff Greenfield gets to offer “analysis.” Conservatives get to talk after someone says “And now for a conservative point of view.” Indeed, the only sure-fire way to be treated respectfully by the liberal establishment is to prostitute yourself, admit your a liar and recant and renounce everything about the right you were ever associated with. It worked for Brock.

Regardless, it wouldn’t surprise me if some conservative outlets have responded by compensating talented people for the fact that by taking jobs in conservative journalism, you’ve closed many doors to jobs outside conservative journalism. But I can see why Salon, which has spent, what? Fifty? A hundred times more money than NRO has is fixated with job security since they always seem on the verge of going under. In this case, conservatives don’t have built-in job security because of their vast wealth, they have more sensible business plans because of they can’t afford not to.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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