Journalism Off Its Track

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Former Providence Journal editorial page editor Ed Achorn has posted a “lament for journalism” on his own website:

As the years went by, people employed in the news media increasingly dropped the cloak of objectivity. They became advocates for progressive ideology. Journalists came to regard fairness and, in some cases, accuracy as impediments to their advocacy, which they believed served the public better than old-fashioned attempts at objectivity.

Accordingly, they increasingly shielded favored politicians and political organizations from serious scrutiny and accountability, while heaping abuse on others. They promoted political hoaxes. They erased the line between news and opinion. And they advanced a narrative, day after day, depicting those who hold traditional values — and America itself — as systemically evil.

The spark for Achorn’s reflection appears to have been the resignation of Bari Weiss, who recently resigned from her top-of-the-heap job as a columnist for the New York Times; Ed quotes:

“My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m ‘writing about the Jews again.’ Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly ‘inclusive’ one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.”

This accords with the impression that many conservatives have of the coming progressive totalitarianism — that it will be some kind of mixture of revolutionary France, the Google playhouse office campus, and Mean Girls.  It also affirms that the totalitarianism is closer than we’d like to believe.  As transparently corrupt as it may be, including in its “1619 Project,” the Times still reflects elite America, which is increasingly spreading its ideology throughout previously safe zones such as professional sports and the business world.



  • Rhett Hardwick

    I have mentioned this before, but I believe that “objectivism” in journalism is a fairly new idea. It wasn’t so long ago that newspapers had names like Stamford Republican and Harrisburg Democrat (names invented for illustrative purposes) While I would hope they were expected to get their facts right, I am sure interpretation was subjective. I don’t imagine there was ever a “golden age of journalism”.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Our modern day journalistic Robespierres would be wise to consider his fate as they meander along figuratively guillotining anyone whose opinion they don’t like

    They prolly won’t get shot thru the jaw before their heads get cut off; but their professional lives will sooner or later end up just as mutilated and dead