Although Peggy Fikac did a fine job interviewing our partner Evan Smith for the Express News–and it is absolutely true that I have retired from partisan politics–I feel compelled to mention that the TT explicitly does not have a Wiccan fundraising quota. Or at least I don’t:
The venture has been viewed cautiously by some on the right because the $2 million-plus backing it has so far includes about $1 million from venture capitalist John Thornton, who is founding chairman of the Tribune and has been a big donor to Democrats.
That’s all ending, Smith said.
“John has pledged not to give any money to candidates any longer, and I take him at his word,” Smith said. “John in his private life was obviously entitled to support candidates or issues as he chose to. Journalists have a different standard … I want to assure you that by the time we launch, we will have money supporting this venture from Democrats, Republicans, independents, Wiccans.
The followers of Wicca aside, this much I have learned to be true: the members of the Journalism Tribe–particularly the young ones–tend to ostracize the partisans in their midsts, to make them eat lunch at Burger King rather than the place all the cool kids go. And I have to tell you: the team Evan and Ross have hired can smell a partisan from 50 paces. (A classic page out of the Wiccan book is to do a remote deadening of your olfactory nerve, so they’re more like a 10-pace deal.).
But, seriously. If we–I, I guess–would have wanted to build just another partisan echo chamber, we would have built a very different team. And attracting a Smith or a Ramsey would have been impossible. My money will go in up front, and sort of like KBH’s campaign funds having been moved to a state-race account–once the coin is there, it’s there.
These troops are not partisans. They’re journalists, and I coudn’t influence them if I wanted to. But who knows–they could very well be Wiccans.