The Intern was Asked to do What?

If you’re an intern at The Nation, Bureau Chief Chris Hayes could make you do things you might not want to do, like update his personal website, the banner of which is displayed above.  Surely those budding journalists who applied for internships at The Nation wanted to work on stories beyond dealing with the personal websites of its employees. Right? Sure, there are worse things interns could be asked to do. But what’s next, finding the perfect cafe for Hayes to work on his book? Texting Slate‘s Dave Weigel?

Hayes praises “super intern Ryan” on Twitter: “Thanks to super intern Ryan, have updated my article archives. If you’re desperately seeking procrastination material [read] here.” Yes, his personal website.

We’ve reached out to The Nation‘s Publicity Director Gennady Kolker to find out what the policy on interns is, if they have one and what the duties are supposed to entail.

UPDATE: Gennady sent us an e-mail reply. It reads as follows: “The Nation’s interns are tasked with varied responsibilities ranging from research and fact-checking to developing and assisting with multimedia and web work–work that is essential to The Nation. As our internship website states, our internship also includes some routine office work, which we keep to a minimum. We’ve always heard excellent feedback from Chris’ interns about their experience.”

How to apply for an internship for The Nation? Find out hereSpecifically the guide says Hayes’s intern will do the following: “This intern works closely with the magazine’s Washington editor Christopher Hayes, attending press conferences and Congressional hearings as well as conducting research and providing clerical assistance.”

Obvious follow-up: We’ve asked Gennady specifically if Hayes’s intern should have been asked to update his personal website. We’ll bring you a comment if one is provided. UPDATE: Gennady replied, “To be absolutely clear, we do not think that Chris has taken advantage of his intern in any way whatsoever. There’s really not much else to say.”

Tell us what you think. Anyone else out there have a “Worst Internship Ever” candidate to share with us? Write us at or to me at Please be clear on whether you’re writing to us anonymously or not.