So the entire Washington Post editorial staff is "utterly incompetent?" Doubtful.
I have and will always have a tremendous amount of respect for this newspaper. Why? You're too young to remember Watergate first hand. For your generation, it's just a story, a movie, a chapter in American history.
Flashforward to 2009 and the George Will columns. The fact that newspapers in general are between a rock and a hard place in general. That a weak economy has impacts there, too. That George Will is a man whose reputation includes a Pulitzer Prize, and visibility in other mediums.
I'm not a fan of Will, but let me play devil's advocate here. This is an Op-Ed column. It is held against a different standard than that which appears in news sections of a paper. It is clearly put forth as the opinion of the writer, and doesn't necessarily represent the feelings of the paper in general. What kind of contract Will has, who knows, who cares. What kind of clout does he carry? An enormous amount. Does he help sell newspapers? As Sarah said, "You betcha." Is he full of it? On this issue, you and I both know he most definitely is.
And the awesome thing about this is the publicity it generates, the opportunity it provides for other, better informed individuals to set the record straight. It generates controversy -- which benefits all involved in a number of ways -- and it keeps people talking about a topic which needs discussion. A topic which yes, is still deeply misunderstood by many.
I heard Janeane Garofalo on Jon Stewart the other day, talking about Rush Limbaugh. It was a crackup, hearing her uninhibited assessment of this ... person. Will spewing forth on global warming may be well received by a specific audience, but again, it provides a platform for others to take it apart. Which they did, and will again.
Back before my time there was Edward Murrow. He was followed by people like Walter Cronkite, a name you should at least be familiar with. There are many, many journalists in many aspects of what we now refer to as "the media" who still possess the kinds of standards that once carried the day. Before that, in the early 20th century, there was the Hearst era, not journalisms finest hour. But not long before that was the era of the muckraker.
I guess the reason I'm venting here is because you, Dana, have repeatedly taken it upon yourself to hammer the media for this that and the other. I ended up taking another path in life, but I've met journalists who went to jail rather than revealing a source, and I know what it takes in a good many fields to sometimes get the truth out there. And it saddens me whenever you generalize in this fashion about the media.
The Washington Post is not the same institution it was in the 1970's, when Ben Bradlee and Kathleen Graham ran the show. But hey, lighten up, and use this as the opportunity it is to put the facts straight without jumping on the media-bashing bandwagon that the conservatives in this country love to ride. Will's ride is almost over, and almost guaranteed there will be another of his ilk to take his place. That's life. LIve with it, but do it without tarnishing the reputations of those in the media who work hard and long to do it right.
This part may post twice -- once more than he deserves, if it does -- but following the 4th paragraph I included this link, which shows for me when I pull it up to edit text but doesn't show when I look at the thread:
Edited by AmyLOC - 2/28/2009 at 12:33 am