Please Hire Me, Mister Twee!


Dear Mr Twee,

I just saw your request for a Research Assistant. I believe this arrived via someone affiliated with the Manhattan Institute.

I gather you’re looking for a young, feisty, driven person. I do not pass the first qualification. Any academic transcript I’d provide would be from 30+ years ago. So no transcript for now, just acres of experience.

What I bring you is an experienced, indefatigable researcher and pretty decent copy editor, if a rather reluctant writer. I’ll do anything to put off writing a first draft. (I’ve never acquired your knack of the one-paragraph lede to hook the reader.) Fortunately you are looking for background research and memos, not ghost writing.

I’ve written for and/or edited a vast array of publications, including some you have heard of: Punch, The Oldie, The Spectator, The American Bystander, San Diego Reader…San Diego Home Garden & Lifestyles…Travel+Leisure…Food & Wine…Chronicles…Euro-Synergies…The Unz Review (have a piece in there right now).

My professional, as opposed to freelance, experience has generally been on the technical side; the last ten years include stints as front-end web developer for Time Inc. Digital and Penguin Random House.

More pertinent to your needs: Years ago I managed travel and appointments for some top executives, including one who was CEO of a comms company in San Diego, and another who had just become President of American Express TRS, UK & Europe.

I can also book conferences and dinners.

I live a few blocks from the FoxNews/NewsCorp building, if that makes any difference.

We are quite familiar with your work in our household. We not only have hard copies of a couple of your books (in a stack on the floor at my feet, even as I type), but I own at least one on Audible. My husband is a great fan of your writing and online/TV commentary. Myself, I have more of that editor’s technical interest: how does he avoid ambiguity and evasiveness without sounding too strident?

A few years back I was asked to write a review of a Heather Mac Donald book. (Heather Mac and I were in college together, but have little more than a nodding acquaintance now.) My review was most difficult to write, because it was clear that Heather had had to hew to a certain PR message or political stance, yet I nevertheless felt obliged to give a glowing review. My difficult piece went back and forth a couple of times, with intense edits and queries, until finally I just abandoned it. (And the review copy of the book is still nearby on the bookshelf, ever a source of guilt pangs, or an object lesson in being too persnickety.) This has nothing to do with you, it’s merely an illustration of me.

Kind regards,

Penny Pringlebury