Nick Gillespie, who together with Editor in Chief Matt Welch interviews former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson in this issue (page 40), joined reason’s staff in 1993 as an assistant editor and served as editor in chief from 2000 to 2008. Now he runs our video journalism site, reason.tv. “What’s really new about so-called new media,” the 46-year-old Gillespie jokes, “is the apparently infinite ways in which you can disappoint yourself and your audience.” Contrary to such proclamations, reason.tv’s audience continues to grow, with the site increasing video plays by 300 percent in the last six months of 2009.
Associate Editor Damon W. Root says his favorite class as an undergraduate at Columbia was on the history of the Constitution. It was in that class that he first got to know Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. “I thought that the judicial protection of individual rights made sense, but that those rights should include both economic liberty and free speech,” the 33-year-old Brooklyn resident says. “Brandeis—and his frequent ally, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes—were among the most articulate and important Progressive Era critics of the economic liberty part of that.” Root critically reviews a glowing new biography of Brandeis on page 56.
Burton C. Gray Memorial Intern Ben Sanders has been spelunking in the reason archives to put together the magazine’s monthly “30 Years Ago in reason” feature (page 10). His insights so far: “People were definitely very paranoid in the ’70s. I love the ads for a year’s supply of food for $400.” Sanders, 34, previously worked at the Campaign to End Refugee Warehousing, which fights to end the practice of confining refugees to camps and forcing them to live for years or decades on the international dole. In addition to working full time at reason, Sanders attends evening classes at the George Washington University School of Law, so “law school is pretty much my hobby now.”