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A neocon scion set to takeover Commentary

by Brad A. Greenberg

October 24, 2007 | 1:01 am

To some within the neoconservative movement, the announcement of John Podhoretz as the next editor of Commentary magazine—the same job his father, Norman, held for 35 years—is the best of all possible choices. It is a model of what Adam Bellow (son of the Nobel-winning novelist Saul) called the “new nepotism,” combining the “privileges of birth with the iron rule of merit.”

But to others the decision reeks of the “old nepotism,” in which the only credential that matters is the identity of your father—in Mr. Bellow’s cosmology, less like the Roosevelts than like Tori Spelling getting an acting job because her father was Aaron Spelling.

“I think some people are pretty shocked,” said Jacob Heilbrunn, whose book “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons” is coming out in January. John Podhoretz, movie critic for The Weekly Standard magazine and a political columnist for The New York Post, “isn’t seen as a heavyweight intellectual,” said Mr. Heilbrunn, who has discussed the appointment with several neoconservatives. Rather, “he is seen as being a beneficiary of his parents’ fame in the George W. Bush mold.”

That is the beginning of a piece in today’s NY Times. Commentary was once one of the most influential journals in the country and remains an important voice for American Jews and Israel.

The Bintel Blog had links last week to a few revealing stories of JPod, as the younger Podhoretz is known. This one by—guess who?—Hanna Rosin is quite revealing.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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