The National Review Has an Ivy League Problem

As the brain-child of a disenchanted Yalie named William F. Buckley, Jr., the National Review has never had an easy relationship with the eight schools from which it draws much of its writing talent, like Nathan Harden (who recently published “Sex and God and Yale”), Eve Tushnet (the gregarious Catholic writer), Maggie Gallagher (the gay marriage conspiracy theorist), and of course Buckley himself. Add to that managing editor Fred Schwarz (a Columbia grad), who articulates “the true, the fundamental conflict in Obama’s soul”:

Is he a Columbia asshole or a Harvard asshole? The answer is important, because those are two very different types of asshole. Both are obsessed with showing you how smart they are, but the Columbia asshole does it by telling you everything he knows, while the Harvard asshole does it by acting bored with whatever you say. The Harvard variety is at least laid back, and the Columbia variety can be interesting; but put them together and you have a world-weary pest. That may not be an exact description of Obama, but he’s certainly getting there.

The salty language surprised us—even us!—because, in his discussion of a recent Pundits prank at Yale (involving a character called “Wilma Dickfit”), IvyGate hero Nathan Harden confers NR the distinction of being “family-friendly” (really):

You won’t believe what they’re up to in New Haven. The latest example of a Yale’s depravity is so graphic that I can’t even mention much of it on these family-friendly pages. It involves an innuendo-filled flyer that appeared all over campus this week, advertising a fake event by a female author of a sex-themed book supposedly entitled “Let’s Find Out The Hard Way.” Crude, and woman-demeaning, this is comic material worthy of a 13-year-old’s intelligence and sophistication.

(Contra Harden, we think the National Review’s audience will believe.) Back to Schwarz: Read the rest of this entry »