To some within the neoconservative movement, the announcement of John Podhoretz as the next editor of Commentary magazine â€” the same job his father, Norman, held for 35 years â€” is the best of all possible choices. It is a model of what Adam Bellow (son of the Nobel-winning novelist Saul) called the â€œnew nepotism,â€? combining the â€œprivileges of birth with the iron rule of merit.â€?
But to others the decision reeks of the â€œold nepotism,â€? in which the only credential that matters is the identity of your father â€” in Mr. Bellowâ€™s cosmology, less like the Roosevelts than like Tori Spelling getting an acting job because her father was Aaron Spelling.