Your Daily Newt: Bringing Back the Dinosaurs

Newt GingrichMark Avery/Orange County Register/ZumaPress

As a service to our readers, every day we are delivering a classic moment from the political life of Newt Gingrich—until he either clinches the nomination or bows out.

Gingrich signed a $4.5 million contract with HarperCollins to write his third book, To Renew America, in 1995. He ultimately gave the advance to charity—taking millions from News Corp., Harper’s parent company, while shepherding major telecommunications legislation didn’t sit well with the public.

The book was overflowing with big ideas and five-step plans, from how to win the War on Drugs, to how to fix Medicare, to where to take the family on your family vacation (Ocmulgee Indian Mounds Park in Macon, Georgia). Most of Gingrich’s ideas wouldn’t result in the full-scale destruction of the human race at the hands of a science experiment gone horribly wrong. But as the Los Angeles Times found out, there was one exception:

[E]ven as Gingrich knocks best-selling author Michael Crichton for works that he calls “just standard alarmist environmentalism in which humans are forever messing up nature,” the one-time aspiring zookeeper wonders: “Why not aspire to build a real Jurassic Park? (It may not be at all impossible, you know.) Wouldn’t that be one of the most spectacular accomplishments of human history? What if we can bring back extinct species?”

That’s one way of looking at it. Here’s a counter-point:

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate