Corn is one of those writers who seemed like he might be at The Nation forever. But he's jumping to a newly powered-up Mother Jones presence in Washington. He'll be bureau chief and active on the Web, as he explains.
Dear Nation colleagues,
After twenty years and eight months of representing the country's oldest political weekly in Washington, I am leaving The Nation. At the end of October, I will become chief of the new seven-person bureau that Mother Jones has opened here.
Let me thank Victor Navasky and Katrina vanden Heuvel for having provided me with a tremendous opportunity--one that few journalists ever know. For two decades, I had the freedom to cover Washington--its policy battles, its political intrigues, its players, its scandals--by going beyond the headlines, digging beneath the surface, and asking questions overlooked or dismissed by conventional media. With the magazine's support, I was able both to break important stories and to be a participant in the critical policy and political debates of the past two decades. Also with the magazine's backing, I wrote books examining the key issues of our day. All of this, I hope, has advanced the values long championed by The Nation.
He continues with a roll call of journos on the Left:
Over the years, I have enjoyed working (and sometimes arguing with) a host of Nation colleagues: Amy Wilentz, Eric Etheridge, Micah Sifry, Kai ("Mr. Pulitzer") Bird, Richard Lingeman, JoAnn Wypijewski, Elena Brunet, Elsa Dixler, Richard Pollak, Kirkpatrick Sale, Katha Pollitt, Bruce Shapiro, Maria Margaronis, D.D. Guttenplan, Max Holland, Jon Wiener, John and Sue Leonard, Mark Schapiro, David Weir, George Black, ndrew Kopkind, Roane Carey, Judith Long, Art Winslow, Jefferson Morley, Dennis Selby, Peggy Suttle, Karen Rothmyer, Betsy Reed, Laura Flanders, Lisa Vandenpaer, Joan Connell, John Nichols, Ari Berman, and Marc Cooper. In the good ol' days of the early 1980s, it was quite an education to share an office in the New York headquarters with Christopher Hitchens. (Gentlemen, don't tell.)
Through The Nation, I established some of the most important friendships of my life. And I was so fortunate to get to know some of the best writers, thinkers and politicos of the past decades, including Molly Ivins (I still miss you), Paul and Sheila Wellstone (also deeply missed), E.P. Thompson, Penny Lernoux, Abbie Hoffman, Calvin Trillin, Frank McCourt, William Greider, Barbara Ehrenreich, Hunter Thompson, Roger Wilkins, Allen Ginsberg, and Steve Earle. And for those of you who have gone to sea with The Nation, we'll always have the cruise.
Though I usually tried to stay away from the business side of the magazine, I appreciated the efforts of those who have kept our ship above water (even in that sea of red ink) and moving forward: Teresa Stack, Hamilton Fish, Neal Black, David Parker, Jack Berkowitz, Laurie Lipper, George Fuchs, Danielle Veith, Mary Taylor Schilling, Peter Rothberg, Mike Webb, Peggy Randall, Scott Klein, Ben Wyskida, Amiri Barksdale, Mary van Valkenburg, Kathleen Thomas, Arthur Stupar, Ellen Bollinger, Peter Fifield, Kathryn Lewis, Carl Bromley, Jane Sharples, Sandy McCroskey, Ann Epstein. And a tip of the hat to the old gang: Greta Loell, Shirley Sulat, and John Holtz. Plus a nod to all who served as union reps and who looked out for us workers. A thank-you, too, to Peter Meyer and Taya Kitman.
I was lucky to work with scores of talented, enthusiastic, and energetic interns and then watch as many pursued their own writing and journalism careers. They were indispensable, not only in assisting my efforts but in providing camaraderie--even at such low wages. I hope that in the long run they each got the better end of the deal. And if I left out anyone in these lists, please forgive me. My memory is not as sharp as when I first arrived at The Nation.
It is not easy to leave the magazine after all these years--from Iran-contra to the Iraq war. But I am moving over to Mother Jones to take up a new set of challenges and to help develop the sort of journalistic entity much needed in Washington. The goal of the new Mother Jones bureau is to generate reporting-driven news and analysis of the capital's political and policy developments--matters already on the media radar screen and, most important, those that are not. At a time when many conventional media outfits are cutting back, when opinion frequently drowns out reporting, and when the blogosphere is too often loaded with rants, there's an appetite for facts-based journalism. It's my hope that I can help this team of D.C.-basedreporters turbocharge the magazine's investigative capabilities and help MotherJones.com-- which will be expanding--become a daily go-to source for vital news and analysis.
When I was in college, I had several fantasies about my future. At one point, I couldn't decide if I wanted to be a Jack Kerouac, a Bruce Springsteen, or an I.F. Stone. Well, I ended up holding the title that once belonged to one of them. It's been an honor to be a successor to Izzy. I hope I did him justice. And it's been an honor to be part of The Nation's grand tradition for one-seventh of the magazine's existence.
The Nation is more than any generation of editors or writers, more than any particular content-delivery vehicle (magazine, web site, or whatever comes next). It is an idea that embodies an ideal: that the dissemination of information--honestly gathered and accurately presented--can help us move toward a world that is just and peaceful. As skeptical and cynical as I can sometimes be, I am proud to have served that idea for over twenty years. I wish the best for the present and future guardians of this 142-year-old notion.
Just as important, it's been a fun and often exhilarating ride. Again, I thank all those who shared it with me. Long may The Nation wave.