Sunday, October 02, 2005
So the halls of journalism lean to the left and liberals lurk in every corner. Few right-thinking folks, myself included, would disagree with that these days. But what puzzles me is how this issue so commonly generates more complaint than call to action, especially given the Right's recognition that the Left's culture of complaint prefers wallowing in problems to solving them. I would rather hear about scholarship programs to encourage talented youngsters with diverse viewpoints to pursue journalism, or to read about endowments for new programs open to new ideas. Looking back just a few years ago, conservatives practically invented talk radio just to counter the uncritical support of the Left that was festering in the media. So why now all the griping instead of planning?
HH: Exactly. When I was at the Columbia School of Journalism last week, I quizzed a group of students, sixteen, how many owned a gun? None. How many had been to church in the last month? Three. How many voted for Kerry? All but three who were not American citizens. It is an intake valve that is permanently stuck on left of center. And as a result, that's what happens to the media.
Well actually, behind the complaints a solution is taking shape: the growth of the blogosphere. Just as talk radio created a new channel for voices outside the control of what was then mainstream broadcast journalism -- without necessarily replacing it -- so this new platform publishes ideas and writers not vetted by the CSJ establishment. Sure, the Left has bloggers too, but their blogging reflects the comfort of someone who owns the rest of the press and is really more outraged at the temerity of the upstarts than eagerly seeking yet another outlet for already exhausted opinions.
What I wonder is why there is still so much complaint even as the solution grows more apparent evey day. Hugh Hewitt, agree with him or not, is himself a huge part of the change. Perhaps there is some strategic purpose to the two-pronged attack of complaining into the microphone while revolutionizing with the keyboard. I just worry that the complaining part risks inculcating unhelpful habits in the listeners. I'd prefer we all stop trying to solve our disputes by seeing who can complain the loudest, or wear the mantle of biggest victim. As if the new rule is "Slight makes right."
Someday that might work for Israel's conflicts too, but I'm not yet ready to take a dose of my own medicine, so don't even bother asking me to. Besides, I've got a few more batches of Reuters Jihad-rally photos to ridicule first.