A Warning to All You Summer Interns Out There

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Three lessons can be learned from this Politico story about Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's mysterious courtship of ambassadors:

An RNC intern sent a message late last month to at least one ambassador on behalf of Neil Alpert, a senior finance aide, with little explanation.

"As you know, the November election is just 103 days away and the Chairman would like to extend to you an invitation to sit down either at the RNC or at your embassy to discuss the upcoming 2010 midterm elections," wrote Christopher Kelleher, a finance department intern. "With literally hundreds of congressional seats up for grabs in just under four months, Chairman Steel [sic] would love to have the opportunity to discuss the Party's outlook with you."

Lesson number one: It is very important to spell correctly the name of the person who runs your organization. Here at The Atlantic, for instance, interns are warned early that the magazine's editor, James Bennett, is a stickler on this point;

Lesson number two: It is best not to take an internship with Michael Steele, for any number of reasons;

Lesson number three: If, because of the recession, the only internship you can land is one with Michael Steele, you should avoid causing international incidents for no discernible reason, in particular international incidents that could conceivably prompt newspaper investigations of your activities.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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