Over the weekend I watched Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on CSPAN (talking about a good issue, phone companies stealing from their customers in quiet unauthorized ways) and I thought what I always think when I see Genachowski: I was once his boss.
I was an editor at a New York journalism publication in the 1980s, and Julius was an intern or an assistant there for a time while he was an undergraduate at Columbia.
My wife likes to point out here that I got fired from the job, and it was the last time I ever worked in an office. But I have a different point to make.
I got hired to that job by an old friend, who just happened to be Jewish. The top editor of the publication also happened to be Jewish, and so did the managing editor (who was very pro-Israel). There was one editor who wasn’t Jewish. Smart guy, and a poet. He used to say “neckbolt” a lot.
Genachowski was Jewish, with European refugees survivors in his own family, I believe. And the guy who came in as an assistant editor after me, who I helped hire, was also Jewish.
On CSpan the other day, Genachowski shared the stage with Sarah Rosen Wartell of the Center for American Progress and Joel Gurin, chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the FCC. I’m guessing both are Jewish, but I don’t know.
Oh, and full disclosure: when I had a chance in 2008 to bring someone in as co-editor of this website, he was Jewish.
My friends and I came of age during the meritocracy. Standardized tests and all that. No more quotas. A good thing, too. Only the meritorious would get ahead.
But if you don’t think kinship networks mean anything, well– you can believe anything you like. I’m just too old to be that naive.