At Last The Media Talks About The Media

Who knew journalists had so much to say about their occupation?

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Over at New York, members of the media — a profession which hates talking about itself and hardly ever engages in any kind of navel-gazing — finally open up and offer frank and candid criticisms of the media. And when members of the media decide to be frank and candid you know that it must be significant.

How can you not admire the hard-boiled honesty in revealing just how sordid, self-serving and sad the general practice of what we used to call “journalism” is in our era of celebrity talking head “analysts” and unique-seeking click-guzzlers? These people — again, part of a group which systematically shuns the hunger for the spotlight and the chronic self-obsession that it rightly ridicules in others — are finally willing to give a little bit of insight into the part they play in making the world shallower, more frightened, and almost as cynical as the very same press that peddles all the nonsense we are ultimately given to understand is directed at us because that’s what we want.

So, yes, you’ll be shocked and angered to learn just how vapid and risk-averse and profit-driven the media is, but you should really pay attention, because it is so rare for the media to talk about itself that who knows when it will ever open up and discuss the topic again? (And remember: If they’re criticizing themselves it’s not self-indulgent. How could it be? They’re saying what the bad things are!) Anyway, here’s a little taste:

The real problem with journalism is groupthink. My father was a journalist — he never graduated from high school, he joined the Marines as a 17-year-old and then went to work at the L.A. Times. It was not a profession; it was a trade, and you had a whole diverse field of people entering it. Now, for a bunch of reasons — and this is the problem with American society more broadly, in my view — it’s just a masturbatorium, filled with people who think exactly the same, who are from the same backgrounds, who have the same assumptions about everything. And you get a much less interesting product when you have that. And you also get a lot of fearful people. A lot of people who are too dumb to go into finance, so they went into journalism instead. And they get older and they realize, ‘I’ve got tuitions, and this is actually a pretty shaky business model on which to build a career,’ and they just become unwilling to take any risk at all. When was the last time you saw anybody in the press — except the fringe press — really write a piece that challenged the assumptions of their neighbors? That would actually make their friends in Brooklyn avert their gaze?

You’re nodding your head in agreement, right? Well that quote comes from Tucker Carlson. How much do you hate yourself now? However much it is it is not as much as the media hates itself — and they’re not afraid to tell you, in their frank and candid way! It’s hard to get the media to offer an opinion about the media, but when they do, oh boy, it’s almost as if they can’t shut up. There is plenty more here. If you choose to read on be forewarned: You’re going to hear some very hard truths. I hope you don’t die of surprise.