Parsing “Advancing Political Interests” Versus “Crusading to Change the World”

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Conservative writer Rod Dreher has an interesting post on the superficiality of news organizations’ obsession with “diversity,” but the most intriguing part might be something that he seems to miss entirely in these two paragraphs (emphasis in original):

To be fair, if news organizations made a concerted effort to recruit conservatives, they would have a hard time finding qualified candidates. That’s because journalism, for whatever reason, tends to disproportionately attract liberals. I wish that weren’t the case, but there it is. From what I’ve seen in nearly 30 years of working in professional journalism, conservatives who have an interest in the field are usually focused on opinion journalism. I’m generalizing here, and I haven’t been working in a newsroom in eight years, but I haven’t seen a lot of conservatives who are interested in journalism as journalism, journalism as a craft — this, as distinct from journalism as a vehicle for advancing their political interests.

Conservatives love to bitch about media bias, but they are much more reluctant to become journalists. You might say that that’s because they anticipate that the deck will be stacked against them in newsrooms, and there’s something to that. Mostly, though, I think that it’s because the craft of journalism, for whatever reason, tends not to attract conservatives, but it does tend to attract crusading liberals who want to change the world, and are willing to work in a profession where they won’t make much money in order to do it.

So conservatives aren’t interested in the craft of journalism, but in “advancing their political interests,” while liberals want to “crusade” and “change the world.”  What difference, I wonder, does Dreher see between advancing political interests and crusading to change the world?  Maybe what he meant to write is that liberals tend to be attracted to the craft of journalism, and some of them happen to be crusaders.  Even then, though, one might suggest that the distinction is only that liberals are more comfortable disguising their biases as they attempt to shape the world under the false pretense of objectivity.

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Honestly, I’m not sure how one might estimate conservatives’ interest in journalism in a counterfactual reality in which they were able to present their own biases as objective truth through “the craft of journalism.”  But in our actual reality one might observe this tendency to assume their beliefs as fact among liberals in every industry.



  • true to my Constitution

    “Journalists” are motivated to deliver the bs that their publisher requires. End of story.

  • Mike678

    “So conservatives aren’t interested in the craft of journalism, but in “advancing their political interests,” while liberals want to “crusade” and “change the world.” Funny–isn’t a crusade “advancing a political interest”? Perhaps the more pragmatic conservatives desire to build and develop, while the liberal prefers to watch and report? The Ant vs the grasshopper?

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