Compassion and empathy were feelings that newsmen and women of a bygone era, kept a very tight rein on — lest they lose objectivity and skepticism. Skepticism in the newsroom nowadays is in short supply. It strangely gets a pass from the perky, beautiful, 20- and 30-somethings who make up the bulk of newsroom staffs. They are too often uncurious. They walk in lockstep with the liberal orthodoxy. They give a pass to questions about global warming, what Hope and Change really mean, the costs that “clean” energy would impose and an infinite number of other issues of the day.ht: Big Journalism
In the story plan meetings, the old school vets with their institutional knowledge are no longer there to block the predictable cliché-ridden ideas and assumptions. Often, a creepy kind of consensus is formed through the filter of political correctness. Naysayers are branded as malcontents. Who could criticize, for example, the dull, obligatory breast-cancer awareness walk idea from the reporter who volunteered to have a mammogram on TV? Or the “Stop the Violence Rally” idea from the African-American reporter who lives in the neighborhood of last week’s murder. Or the “Take The Subway to Work Day” story, proposed by the stations “green” reporter, himself a committed environmentalist or the AIDS day story from the young openly gay reporter?
It is a very narrow row from which these young journalism sprouts have been culled. Today, many large media companies have written policies — NBC/ General Electric and Gannett to name two — whereby station managers and executives cannot be promoted unless they themselves promote minorities and women. And where do managers go to ensure their own advancement, while hiring the perfect rainbow of staffers? The NABJ. NAHJ. NLGJA. NAHJ. These are the minority journalists associations. Black, Hispanic, gay and lesbian, Native American, Asian American. And curiously, among them, objectivity seems to be secondary to their particular form of advocacy and their “progressive” mandates. Each, in furtherance of their own mission is quick to claim victim status if quotas are not met or if their ideals are not expressed through “advocacy” journalism.
It was no surprise then, more than a year later when President Obama, appearing at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, joked to the thousands of journalists in attendance, “Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me.” The line got a laugh … and then … in an insult to journalism, thousands in the crowd clapped and cheered, in affirmation of the truth. There was no shame for them. Quite the contrary, they reveled in it. The new mainstream media was on display for all to see in one giant, embarrassing ensemble. All of them feminized, sensitized and diversified. But it was also a perfect moment in time — thousands of nanny-state warriors, before their leader, ready to go forth to women ages 18-49 and spread the fear, and propose solutions of the state. What bad public policy may result, we have only begun to see.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Anonymously, of course. Probably afraid of terrible retaliation from the Big Old Media et al. Obviously fears for future of career, at least.