Mother’s Special Recipe

I’m quite fascinated by the fundraising events that the always hungry opinion magazines cook up hoping to liberate some money from their wealthier readers. Think of the Nation cruises, or the Buckley endorsed wine clubs once promoted in the National Review.

(And good thing too, because these magazines need money to engage their readers, to pursue their respective dragons, and to provide home and support to ideas and reporting that may be neglected elsewhere. Right? Right.)

But here’s a new one: Mother Jones, the venerable left leaning magazine that launched in a small San Francisco office above a McDonald’s, is hosting a New York soiree with its publisher, a co-editor in chief, and New York Times cooking columnist Mark Bittman. They promise “hands-on cooking and conversation about food, the environment, journalism, and politics.”

A cool $1,000 to Mother Jones (which, disclosure, was once my employer) nets a ticket to a 45 minute pre-game “VIP reception” with the headliners. After that, all comers, some paying the rock bottom price of $250, will sit down to dinner. Guests donating $500 or more actually get to do some “hands-on cooking with Mark.” Everyone else? They just get to watch.

That’s right: the wealthiest will pony up for the privilege of helping cook for the hoi-polloi. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs, perhaps.

Mother would be proud.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.