The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

How to Get Jennifer Schuessler to Give You a Puff Piece in the New York Times

Posted on | January 21, 2013 | 28 Comments

Obviously, it helps if you’re a Bolshevik:

When Bhaskar Sunkara was growing up in Westchester County, he likes to say, he dreamed of being a professional basketball player.
But the height gods, among others, didn’t smile in his favor. So in 2009, during a medical leave from his sophomore year at George Washington University, Mr. Sunkara turned to Plan B: creating a magazine dedicated to bringing jargon-free neo-Marxist thinking to the masses.
If that hardly seems less of a long shot at fame, let alone fortune, he’s the first to agree.
“I had no right to start a print publication when I was 21,” he said in an interview in a cafe near his apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “Looking back, I see it as a moment of creative ignorance. You have to have enough intelligence to execute something like this but be stupid enough to think it could be successful.”
The resulting magazine, Jacobin, whose ninth issue just landed, has certainly been an improbable hit, buoyed by the radical stirrings of the Occupy movement and a bitingly satirical but serious-minded style. Since its debut in September 2010 it has attracted nearly 2,000 print and digital subscribers, some 250,000 Web hits a month, regular name-checks from prominent bloggers, and book deals from two New York publishers.

When I saw the headline (“A Young Publisher Takes Marx Into the Mainstream“) at MediaGazer, it got my attention because, of course, Marxism is the deadliest idea in human history. Marxist-Leninist regimes killed 100 million of their own citizens in the 20th century but, hey, let’s assign a cheerful human-interest story about this young idiot who thinks it’s hip and cool to revive a discredited ideology.

It’s “an improbable hit” with “250,000 Web hits a month”? Guess that makes me “an improbable hit,” too, but I haven’t had any interview requests from Jenny Schuessler yet. Ace of Spades HQ has had more than 190 million visitors to date and, last time I checked, they were averaging something like 300,000 Web hits daily. However, for some reason Ace doesn’t get glowing coverage in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, and if New York publishers have been eagerly thrusting book contracts at him, Ace has been suspiciously quiet about it.

Almost like there’s a bias or something, y’know?


UPDATE: Ask yourself, “How does a magazine with less Web traffic than this blog merit a gushy 1,100-word puff piece in the New York Times?”

Well, left-wing journalists like Jenny Schuessler read left-wing magazines, and they watch MSNBC and it turns out MSNBC host/Nation writer Chris Hayes is a big fan of Jacobin. So it’s a “friend-of-a-friend” kind of phenomenon. Donald Douglas at American Power quotes Jacobin’s interview with Chris Hayes:

I do think there is a potential for a radicalized upper-middle class. We already see that, it’s just a question of how that gets channeled. Everything about the Netroots, the anti-war, anti-Bush sentiment … One of the interesting things about the way our certain kind of fractal inequality has manifested, the people who see it the most, have the closest proximity to it, say, the top 2 to the top 20 percent: ‘I went to law school with Joe and I have some job at a firm and I’m doing alright, but he went into a hedge fund and is making $10 million.’

Only the elite can afford to be Bolsheviks nowadays.

UPDATE II: Da Tech Guy does the math and figures to kill 100 million people in 100 years, you’d have to kill 2,739 people a day.

Eggs, omelets.



  • JeffWeimer

    As I said on Twitter, the most telling line in the article is “Mr.
    Sunkara, the son of middle-class South Asian immigrants who was voted
    “most likely to succeed” in high school, traces his politics less to
    experience than to reading.”

    Marxism is always attractive in the
    abstract. The reality has names like “The Killing Fields”, the
    Holodomor, the “Great Leap Forward”.

  • K-Bob

    In over the transom:

    Duranty’s coverage was like, totally accurate, man. He couldn’t help it if it all went to shit after he came back to the racist, gun-thug-ocracy of home. We just never gave Stalin a chance!

    — The ones we’ve been waiting for

  • DonaldDouglas

    I wrote on this previously,

    ‘The Jacobin: Chris Hayes of MSNBC.’

  • robertstacymccain

    I’m sure his middle-class immigrant parents are proud of their America-hating Marxist son.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Well…it seems we’ll have to unleash an Army Of Burkes to battle this snot-nosed, spoiled little rat bastard.

  • Pingback: Da Tech Guy's Blog » Blog Archive Mass Murders wanted, no experience needed » Da Tech Guy's Blog()

  • robertstacymccain

    Where’s Charlotte Corday when we really need her?

  • WJJ Hoge

    The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.—V.I. Lenin

  • Mike

    The leftists smell blood. With Obama’s re-election, they’re primed for deep, radical change, from amnesty, to gun confiscation, to wealth redistribution.

    With what he considers a mandate, and backed by the Chief Executive’s new powers to “indefinitely detain” anyone he considers a “terror suspect,” Obama is poised to complete his unfinished revolution. NRA members, Tea Party activists, and anyone with “extremist” views on Constitutional constraints on the central government, are immediately suspect.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Did I ever tell you how I hate spoiled American Marxists?

  • AnonymousDrivel

    2,739? That’s a lot of statistics… er, tragedies.

    Q: Do you get a free Che T-shirt with every Jackhole subscription?

  • McGehee

    Damn. I almost subscribed until I looked again and saw that it’s “Jacobin,” not “Jacobite.” When oh when will there be a magazine for us of Scottish descent who want Scotland ruled once again by a Stuart king?

  • Steve Skubinna

    “a magazine dedicated to bringing jargon-free neo-Marxist thinking to the masses.”


    “Since its debut in September 2010 it has attracted nearly 2,000 print and digital subscribers, some 250,000 Web hits a month”

    Hard to believe both these statements are about the same thing. I suppose “the masses” means something different to an NYT reporter than it does to me.

  • Freddie Sykes

    I take some delight in pointing out that Hitler was actually the 3rd greatest mass murdered of the 20th Century.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I hereby offer to go looking for her!

  • Bob Belvedere

    You were bloody lucky the English ruled that misbegotten land for so long.

  • Steve Skubinna

    Check the bathtub.

  • M. Thompson

    The Queen! God save her!

  • Rob Crawford

    Speed, bonny boat, like a bird on the wing…

  • M. Thompson

    Not sure if they’re better or worse than Illinois Nazis. . .

  • Pingback: NYT Gushes Over Marxist Mag | The Lonely Conservative()

  • rmnixondeceased

    The interesting thing is, neither Marx, Engels or Lenin support their political theories on this side. I think it’s because they’ve “seen the light”. (And the Boss won’t allow it)

  • McGehee

    Ye can take away me land, but ye canna take away me freedom!

  • McGehee

    Nae, she’s only half Scottish.

  • Pingback: The Next 1,460 Days: I Still Hope He Fails : The Other McCain()

  • Pingback: Obama’s Not a “Liberal” – He’s a Communist « Nice Deb()

  • Pingback: Marxism Deserves A Second Look | The Rio Norte Line()

  • Pingback: Marxism Deserves A Second Look? | Sasquatch The Yeti()