The New Republic, which was bought by Harvard graduate and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes in 2012, performed a searching investigation: “Revealed: The Insiders Whose Kids Got White House Internships”!
44 of this year’s 147 interns attended Ivy League schools. That’s precisely the same number as attended all of the country’s state schools. Some 18 of those 44 Ivy-credentialed had, like the president, studied at Harvard. And a full 7 of this year’s interns went to the same high school: D.C.’s pricy Georgetown Day School, which produced more interns than the states of Florida, Pennsylvania, or Illinois.
It’s momentarily unclear how the investigation’s author, Julia Fisher, determined where each of the nearly 150 interns completed secondary education, except perhaps a grinding Facebook quest. (The official roster only lists their college of attendance.) But then Fisher tips her hand:
Comic hypocrisy alert: The reason I know about that particular cabal is that I went there too. And, before my time, so did two of my editors.
It’s an odd admission, certainly. But it’s no secret that educational prestige confers a powerful status at The New Republic. Sixty percent of the magazine’s current (unpaid) interns attended the University of Chicago. The magazine’s five reporter-researchers, from which the next generation of New Republic staffers are often chosen, carry even more gilded credentials. Fisher, for example, attended Yale. So did her colleague, Eileen Shim. Another attended Brown. Another, Columbia. Another, Sarah Lawrence (via St. Paul’s!). And they’re actually paid.
To be fair, New Republic editor Franklin Foer attended Georgetown Day School and Columbia, too. It’s only logical that he would fill his magazine’s masthead with the tier of humanity he went to school with. (Or grew up with.) You don’t want anyone rolling their eyes at endless, pointless arguments about whether expensive musical instruction is good for rich children. They need to fit in.
They do, too, at the White House. And that needs to change. But it would be nice if the outlet suggesting a more inclusive entrée to Washington’s power elite didn’t already look exactly like it.