Jay Nordlinger

Jay Nordlinger

“In a liberal democracy like ours, I think there is such a thing as freedom from politics.”

National Review Senior Editor Jay Nordlinger sat down with Zach and Bryn last week to discuss his "night job" as an music reviewer, new book on the children of dictators, and the role of politics and party affiliation in daily life.


Jay Nordlinger is a senior editor at National Review and writes about topics ranging from politics to human rights to the arts. Originally from Michigan, Nordlinger attended the University of Michigan before relocating to New York. In addition to his journalism experience, Mr. Nordlinger hosts the Need to Know podcast and has written multiple books.

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“I think you’re allowed to be an individual, and vote for the candidates of your choice, [and] argue for whatever position strikes you as best. You don’t need to be a member of a party. I must say I liked being a member of a party.” (2:30)

“Journalism gives you a license to be nosy and to act on your nosiness.” (8:50)

“Why do people do this? I’ve interviewed many, many dissidents - former political prisoners, political prisoners to be. Why do they stick their neck out this way; why do they risk so much? They usually can’t tell you. They just feel compelled. Why do they do things that they know will lead to their imprisonment and torture and possibly murder? Why? They can’t tell you. They feel compelled. They also think, 'If I don’t do it, who will?' They’re a special breed." (12:50)

“I’m for less politics on campus rather than more, myself. I think colleges should be places of learning, growing, discovery; there’s plenty of time for politics later. I don’t think there has to be politics on campus, and I say that as someone who is a political nut!” (15:20)