Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Not just at the Post: The Washington Post's media critic, Howard Kurtz, an excellent journalist, wrote an article yesterday about the paper's daily internal review of the paper's coverage.
One thing that's caught some readers' eyes is this bit (but you should read the entire thing):
On Thursday, Book World Editor Marie Arana, noting that she had been "a Young Republican at 15, a marching SDSer at 20, and roundly disgusted by the blue-team, red-team political dialogue by the time I turned 30," criticized an article on what was called a "stealth evangelism" festival by saying: "The elephant in the newsroom is our narrowness. Too often, we wear liberalism on our sleeve and are intolerant of other lifestyles and opinions. . . . We're not very subtle about it at this paper: If you work here, you must be one of us. You must be liberal, progressive, a Democrat. I've been in communal gatherings in The Post, watching election returns, and have been flabbergasted to see my colleagues cheer unabashedly for the Democrats."
Downie says he is concerned if some staffers are openly displaying political preferences but that Arana's comments were valuable and "made clear that we do have a diverse staff when it comes to ideological backgrounds."
Let me just say that what Arana describes about watching election night returns isn't at all uncommon in most large newsrooms. And Downie's comments are unintentionally funny. Seriously, can you imagine an editor lauding the newspaper's racial diversity by pointing to the only minority employee in the newsroom. More than half of the American voters cast their ballot for Bush in the last election, and Downie is satisfied with his newsroom's ideological diversity because the book world editor is a Republican?