"I know that the Heritage Foundation likes to have you over because you
drive hippies insane, but let’s face it, those guys are “so over.”
Ditto on getting those articles into
The American Spectator. Don’t
align with the losers."
Since this comment seems to be directed against me (I'm the only one around here who writes for The American Spectator) I guess I should respond. Let me tell you, there are very few chances to cross any lines lines when it comes to writing about nuclear power. I've had a dozen people tell me I should get out of my "conservative ghetto" and argue the case in the "mainstream" liberal press, but in my experience it can't be done. My recent post here, "There's Plenty of Energy at the Bottom" was conceived almost a year ago. I gave that story to Harper's, The Atlantic, The New Republic,Foreign Affairs, The Nation, The American Interest and just about every other publication I could think of, but it was no go. Most of them just rejected it without comment. The editor at The American Interest told me it was "just high school physics" and not worthy of publication anywhere.
Two years ago, after the big revivial of Earth Day, I conceived of an article, "Is Nuclear Green?" I wanted to pose the question of whether nuclear should be part of the discussion and look at both sides. Once again, I thought of cracking into the liberal press, since they had all just run big Earth Day issues without ever mentioning nuclear.
I called up The New Republic and asked to speak to an editor about the story. The person I ended up talking to said, "Sure, go ahead and submit something. We'll see if we like it." So I started calling environmental groups for comment, telling them I was freelance but "writing this for The New Republic." When someone at Natural Resources Defense Council heard this, they apparently called TNR moments later to ask what the hell was going on. Within two hours I had a personal call from the senior editor at TNR telling me "Don't you dare ever tell anyone you write for The New Republic and don't ever submit anything to us again." (I had written for them a couple of times before. The person I had talked to, it turned out, was an intern.)
When I went back to calling other environmental groups the story had already whipped around Washington that I was "impersonating a New Republic reporter" and trying to convince people they were interested in a story about nuclear power. The woman who answered the phone at the Sierra Club wouldn't tell me anything except that she had specific instructions not to speak to me and not to allow me to speak to anyone else either. This all happened in the space of one afternoon. So somehow I don't feel much enthusiasm for discussion on the other side.
I am proud to write for The American Spectator. They have a broad stable of very talented writers and I read their website almost every day. They have always been willing to put things in print when I send them a decent story, even when they always don't always agree with them. I have been able to build up a body of work at that magazine that served as the basis for much of my book, so that it bothers me only a little anymore that they usually take about four months to send the check. Writing against the grain isn't easy for any of us.