I had the privilege to interview one of the Red Millennial editors: Katie Zehnder. She is a talented writer who goes against the grain, she was home-schooled (like me), goes to Regent University, and, gasp, believes in limited government. That is right! Trigger warning, she’s a female Conservative. It was so much fun to interview her. Check it out below, her answers are in bold.
Where do you call your hometown? Woodsfield, Ohio, a small town you’ve probably never heard of unless you know someone from there. If one wants to be technical about it, I was born in Wheeling, WV. But my family moved to Ohio when I was one, so this is the only home I’ve ever known. Again, to be technical, my mailing address is Clarington, not Woodsfield, but Clarington is even less of a town than Woodsfield. Woodsfield is truly my home town, it’s where I went to church and got my first job, my roots are there.
In High School, did you ever write stories for your school paper? If so, what kind? No. Firstly, I was homeschooled, so there really was no “school newspaper.” Secondly, I still struggled with writing in high school and would never have dreamed I would go on to choose writing as my career.
Is high school where you became politically active? Yes, as I said I was homeschooled so I was raised on a lot of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and other talk radio. I remember standing in the kitchen one day, and Glenn Beck was on, I was about 15-16. I had always heard Beck and others over the years, but most of the time I wasn’t really listening or comprehending. For whatever reason, whatever Beck was talking about that day sunk in. I remember standing there in the kitchen thinking, “This guy is right, he makes sense and he’s funny!” That is where my interest in politics really began. Several months after, Beck launched GBTV, now known as the Blaze, I began watching his shows there as well. Shortly after the launch of the Blaze TV’s “Real News” I began watching, and I was hooked. I watched the show every chance I could and if I couldn’t watch live I would watch the archives. It was through watching that show that I discovered I wanted to go into journalism and political commentary.
You went to Regent University, were you into journalism and commentary at that time? Yes, I will be a senior at Regent this fall and I knew before I transferred to Regent that I wanted to go into journalism and commentary.
Did you win any awards for high school or college writings? Not that I can recall.
What was your first gig as a writer? My very first writing gig was with Regent’s “Daily Runner”
Any particular stories that stick out from that outlet? I did one on the government shut down caused by the Obamacare bill.
What are one or two things you learned in the beginning that prepared you for your later news/commentary career? I learned how to work with an under and editor, especially when you don’t always see things in the same way and you both have different goals.
At what point did you feel like, okay, this is it, I’m officially a news writer/columnist? I feel like I’m still on that road, although getting closer every day. But I guess I would say fall of 2014 when I was given my own Red Millennial column.
Tell us a little bit about your writing at The Blaze. Any stories or projects that you are especially proud of? No one story is jumping out at me right now but my articles for the blaze were mainly geared towards college students and millennials.
You also are a contributor for PolitiChicks. How did you get connected with them? I sent out a tweet saying how I wanted to write for them. They tweeted back telling me how to apply, which I did and was accepted.
Red Millennial is a great voice for Generation Y Conservatives. How did you get in contact with them to join their team? Through Regent in a roundabout way. Before I transferred to Regent’s campus last fall, I took classes online for several years. In January of 2014 I met Julia Porterfield, our founder and Editor-in-Chief in an online class. We soon discovered we had similar interests and career goals and Julia added me on fb and we began getting to know each other better. Several months later she invited me to apply for Red Millennial.
Any story or column there you are particularly proud of? Early last year at the time of it’s publication this article was the #1 story of 2015. It wasn’t even a story that I worked that hard on I just kind of threw it together real quick because Julia was asking someone to write something up on the topic.
Is there a particular topic you enjoy covering more? I really enjoy writing about the irony of liberal feminism and calling out Hillary Clinton and the left on her hypocrisy!
You break the mold as the liberal, entitled Millennial. In your opinion, what is something we as Conservative Millennials can do to bring others to our point-of-view? I believe that one of the best things that we can do to bring others to our side of the table is to point the flaws, in the other side’s arguments. Also, point out how they pretend to care about people but they really don’t and they are merely exploiting them for their own purposes.
The left preaches tolerance toward women, until they meet a more Conservative/Libertarian woman. Have you ever encountered push back because you’re a woman? Not yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.
Are there any plans for a book by Katie Zehnder? Haha. No, but who knows what they future holds.
Is there a particular political activist who inspired you during your journey? There are many, S.E. Cupp, Buck Sexton, Megyn Kelly, Katie Kieffer, Katie Pavlich, Elizabeth Kreft and Andrea Tantaros are only a few.
I ask this of every writer I interview, what’re some of your favorites books and authors you have read? Katie Kieffer, Katie Pavlich, Greg Gutfeld, Charles Cooke, Glenn Beck, Dana Loesch, and Gretchen Carlson are only a few.
One final question, do you have any thoughts you would like to share to other Conservative Millennials who might feel intimidated by the assault on our generation from the left? The left uses a lot of scare tactics. The scare tactics, the race card, the sex card, and many other weapons wielded by the left are all a smoke screen behind which they hide, the left has no real ammo, no hard facts or evidence on their side. What little they have is far outweighed by the facts that back conservative positions, so know that all the low blows flung against you come from a far greater fear that they have of you than you of them. Conservatives ideas work and always win when allowed to come to light, and that strikes fear into the heart of every liberal.
That concluded our interview. Be sure to check out Katie’s works at Politichicks so be sure to head that way, but first, be sure to subscribe for more upcoming interviews.