Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Speaking of media bias...

John Podhoretz, writing in NRO's The Corner, notes a silly bit of media obliviousness:

You may have heard about how the newsroom at the Seattle Times burst into applause when the news came that Karl Rove was resigning. You may also have heard that the paper's editor, David Boardman, came down harshly on his staffers, telling them to keep their politics to themselves especially with an election year coming up (because, you know, if you don't clap, then maybe readers won't be able to gather from the newspaper's own columns that it is wildly biased to the left).

Boardman has now expanded on his original memo in words likely to cause all of us who work at newspapers to burst into hysterical guffaws: "I ask you all to leave your personal politics at the front door for one simple reason: A good newsroom is a sacred and magical place in which we can and should test every assumption, challenge each other's thinking, ask the fundamental questions those in power hope we will overlook."

A sacred and magical place? This guy runs a newsroom. Has he ever even walked through his own newsroom? I've worked in them on and off for 25 years now, and let me tell you, the words "sacred and magical" are about as far from a plausible description of the condition, spirit or nature of a newsroom as the words "conservative and Christian" would be. Newsrooms are messy, sometimes a little smelly, crowded, gossipy, busy, bustle-y, with so many distractions at once that it actually helps if you have Attention Deficit Disorder because otherwise you go crazy from the five simultaneous conversations and phone interviews going on around your head.

These days, most newsrooms are only magical because of the way dozens of staffers mysteriously disappear right after the release of second-quarter advertising numbers and circulation scandals.

Oh, and that stuff about testing our own assumptions and challenging each other's thinking? Boardman was probably giggling while he typed those words.

I know I was giggling.



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