Commentary, the political magazine most famously edited by former literary party animal turned conservative crank Norman Podhoretz, is changing editors for just the fourth time in its 61-year history. Everyone please welcome five-time Jeopardy! champ John Podhoretz, the flightier, flakier son of Norm! Now that the magazine has long completed its transition from home of critical thinking from legendary figures like Lionel Trilling to clearinghouse for vitriolic uber-Zionist right wing bullshit with too many three-dollar words for the Weekly Standard (originally JP's venture with fellow son-of-famous-conservative Bill Kristol), the editor of the New York Post's intellectually rigorous editorial page is the perfect figure to lead it into this glorious neo-conservative future.
What can you expect from the new Commentary? More TV! Podhoretz has always appreciated the lighter side of conservatism, and he's applied his brief stint as a TV critic to much of his later work. An ancient (1998!) New York mag profile of John reveals his distaste for boring old ideology.
John Podhoretz has inherited his father's literary narcissism, but without the ideological vigor. Instead, he decided early on his model would be Robert Warshow, a movie reviewer for Commentary in the fifties. "The rest of us were interested in boring topics, like foreign policy," says his friend Daniel Cass. "John only wanted to talk about movies and television."And then there was his utterly amazing old Washington Times column.
No subject was too trivial to share with readers. Topics included his trip to an amusement park; his hatred of household pets; his love of Jell-O; conversations with his imaginary friend. He recounted events in mind-numbing detail: "I missed the 2:30 shuttle, so I had to wait for the 3:30 shuttle . . . I arrived in Washington at 5:15." He'd also do things like type "SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX sex sex sex sex sex," apropos of nothing ("I can see your eyes drifting"). One column ended with "Podhoretz . . . this is without question the dumbest column you've ever written. Stop it now!"That's right, the dude who wrote the 'humor' column for your college paper is now in charge of Commentary. So basically everyone will quit in disgust, like 20 of the people who worked under him at the Washington Times. Or they'll be fired for being boring, like Fred Siegel and Hilton Kramer at the Post. And the circle of nepotism will continue forever and ever until President Chelsea Clinton finally orders the nuclear strike against New York.