April 12, 2010 1 Comment
From wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Review
The California Review is a Conservative college paper distributed primarily on the campus of the University of California, San Diego. The publication is one of a handful of campus newspapers entirely funded by the Associated Students of UCSD. The California Review was founded by Eric Young and Harry Crocker on January 7, 1982. Through out the years, the publication garnered much support.
 Founding of the California Review & The 1980′s
Eric Young, fresh from a semester at Dartmouth College where he had encountered The Dartmouth Review, was trying to put together a staff to create a conservative student paper at UCSD called California Review. Quick to join was Elizabeth “E.T.” Sullivan, a Guardian staff writer (who transferred to the University of Washington after the first issue). Next, Eric followed rumors that a manic-depressive, arch-conservative, quickly turning into a psycho case due to the fact that all his Lit/Writing professors were flaming communists, could be found working at the Muir Cafeteria. The rumors were true, and Eric teamed up with Harry Crocker (H. W. Crocker III) to form the brain trust of the new organization. Shortly thereafter Harry’s brother, Brandon (C. Brandon Crocker), also offered his services. By early Spring 1982, CR had received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS as a non-profit educational organization, and received a seed funding commitment from the Institute for Educational Affairs (now called the Madison Center for Educational Affairs).
An office was procured by Eric when he demonstrated to the Music Department (by fact of a two year old note tacked to the door) that one of their rooms near the campus police station was unused. The nucleus of the staff then spent considerable time in the office talking politics and mapping out the future of California Review. Finally, on May 24, 1982 (or a few days before) the premier issue of California Review, featuring an exclusive interview with Neil Reagan, arrived at UCSD. This famous issue was frequently quoted, and more frequently misquoted, so that CR overnight became known as racist, sexist, elitist, ageist, and homophobic. The next week, the Music Department evicted CR from its office, claiming a sudden need to use the space. To top off the first year, the editors threw a “Friends of California Review Party” on the lawn by the Warren College Writing Program bungalow. Eric Young, and Harry and Brandon Crocker showed.
Operating out of Harry and Brandon’s living quarters, CR’s second year started off with a bang with the best issue of a student publication that had ever graced the grounds of UCSD, and the issues only got better. Feature interviews included Milton Friedman, Clarence Pendleton, and Charlton Heston. The editors distributed the paper door-to-door to all the campus dorms at 4:00 am – 5:00 am (a tactic which resulted in high readership, and foiled the attempts of new indicator types who were fond of trashing stacks left around campus). CR made many enemies, of course. Included in this throng was Literature Professor Reinhard Lettau who spray-painted the words “Killers for Reagan” on the driveway of the Crocker’s house, and who was later arrested for doing the same on a campus wall.
The paper continued to receive support from the IEA and the editors raised much of the paper’s budget by delivering speeches to local Republican Women’s and Pro America chapters. At its peak in 1985, CR had a paid circulation of approximately 400 people in 40 states and on 4 continents. George Will, Jack Kemp, Arthur Laffer, Alexander Haig, Pete Wilson, and George Gilder all agreed to give CR exclusive interviews. The paper was modeled in style along the lines of the old The American Spectator, complete with woodcut drawings and etchings, many of which were found by Brandon Crocker searching through copies of the 19th century magazine Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, which he stumbled across in Central Library. Tom Edwards, who joined the staff in 1983 and served as assistant editor in 1983-84, helped to obtain some of that year’s big interviews (Jack Kemp, Alexander Haig, and then U.S. Senator Pete Wilson) through his political contacts.
By the 1984-85 school year, the paper had achieved significant national acclaim and even liberals on campus admitted that it was well written. Leftist Communications Professor Herbert Schiller commented to some students that CR wasn’t a student publication and that all of the copy was actually sent to New York and edited by William F. Buckley, Jr. The A.S. government, however, continually refused to give CR any of the funding it allocated to “Alternative Media.” The campus Left even organized a special campus referendum to keep the A.S. from funding CR. In addition, CR was continually refused office space. After filing a law suit in Federal District Court CR was issued a preliminary injunction against the university, and shortly thereafter the university settled out of court and gave CR office space. The A.S. later approved $864 in funding. (For more on this see “Three Years at the Review” in the June 1985 issue).
After the 1984-85 school year, the paper went into a downward phase. The last of the founding members, Brandon Crocker, graduated. Chris Alario, famous for traveling to Nicaragua and visiting a Contra training camp, took over at the start of 1985-86, but left after only a few issues. Leadership at the paper became unstable as editors-in-chief came and went after only short tenures, (no editor-in-chief would serve an entire school year until 1988-89) and some infighting occurred. Staff size dwindled. The quality of the issues suffered, and as CR successfully got onto the A.S. dole, outside fundraising fell to practically zero, and the subscribers were neglected. The quality hit bottom around 1987-88 when the paper was truly an embarrassment.
William Eggers then took the helm with the aim of bringing CR back, partly at least, to its former grandeur. Some of the alterations in style that had taken place were thrown out in favor of the old style, and the overall quality improved. This improvement continued as Brooke Crocker, the last of the Crocker Dynasty, took over in 1989. The feature interview, once a CR hallmark, was revived. Now, nearing its 10th year, CR is again a respectable institution at UCSD.
 Staff Structure
The California Review’s editorial staff consists of UCSD undergraduates. The Editor in Chief is chosen by the staff in the spring quarter for the following year. The Editor in Chief than designates positions for the California Review and its staff.