New Commentary Editor Denies Neo-Nepotism

From the New York Times:

Mr. Podhoretz, 46, who is currently vacationing with his family, said that his father found out about the job offer just two weeks ago, only after he had already accepted the post. “I didn’t want him to be involved in any way, shape or form,” the younger Mr. Podhoretz said. He explained that Neal Kozodoy, who has edited the magazine ever since Norman Podhoretz retired in 1995, called during the spring and asked if he was interested in taking over. There was no search process. Mr. Kozodoy declined to comment.

As for charges of favoritism, Mr. Podhoretz said: “It’s silly for me to respond because I don’t accept the premise. I have a professional career that’s dated back 25 years. I’ve started two magazines, worked at three others. I am who I am. I have millions of words that you can read on Nexis.” He has also written three books.

…Still, of the more than 30 people contacted for this article, several who have written for the magazine or have contributed money to the Commentary Fund said they were troubled by the family connection, the lack of an open search process and what they consider to be Mr. Podhoretz’s lack of intellectual credentials for such a highbrow journal, partly because he has written so much about popular culture. A former writer for Commentary said the appointment repudiated one of neoconservatism’s founding principles, a commitment to meritocracy. He, like other respondents, asked not to be identified because of longstanding ties either to the magazine or to the Podhoretz family.

The new appointment puts three generations of Podhoretzes at the magazine, with Norman holding the title of editor at large and his grandson Sam Munson as online editor. Of course, the ancestral streak is not exactly surprising. The Podhoretz, Kagan (Fred, Donald, Robert and Kimberly) and Kristol clans have dominated the movement for 40 years.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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