Elise Viebeck '10 has just won the Eric Breindel Award. The award, endowed by News Corp. and named for the famous New York Post editor, carries with it a $10,000 stipend and is widely considered the most prestigious prize in collegiate conservative journalism.
This award was won last year by none other than The Claremont Independent's former editor-in-chief, John Wilson. As his friend and Claremont Independent writer, Kevin Vance describes the genesis of Wilson's September 2006 CI article, "Finding Burke Among the Street Sleepers," Wilson did hard-hitting report.
He traversed London with a homeless man and observed the horrendous effects of the welfare state on London's poor. Wilson spent the summer before his senior year working with immigrants at an inner-city church in London.
The Claremont Independent has much to celebrate, having now won the prize twice. Claremont McKenna College has much to celebrate, too. One cannot help but wonder if the college will issue a new press release, rightly praising Ms. Viebeck, as it did for Mr. Wilson. They ought to, if only to recognize a 5-month long undertaking.
At The Claremont Conservative, we applaud Viebeck for her numerous pieces on Professor Petropoulos and for her summer internship with National Review. We have already commented on both, extensively.
Still, while those articles were important, they weren't earth shattering and we wonder if too high a price was paid at The Claremont Independent, the erstwhile conservative publication of this campus.
Under Ms. Viebeck's tenure, The Claremont Independent has lost its editorial stance and has printed weak issues. To put it bluntly, the paper founded with the maxim, "Free Thought is Back!" is scarcely recognizable. Meetings were nonexistent, deadlines were seldom given and writers left.She has even gone so far as to criticize me publicly and privately for being a self-promoter. (Is she the pot or the kettle?)
Ms. Viebeck will be studying abroad next semester in Amsterdam and the publication will pass over to Ilan Wurman. Mr. Wurman will be returning from the Washington semester program where he worked for the White House serving his party and his country.
We look forward to helping Mr. Wurman implement his vision for The Claremont Independent.