Okay, Next Crisis

God, I love this guy:

In his righteous fury, R. Cort Kirkwood [letter below] completely misses my point. So I’ll try again: What Hugh Hewitt and his fellow critics of the mainstream media don’t get is that for 99 percent of the work in daily journalism, a reporter’s personal political views don’t matter a whit. Is there a liberal or conservative way to cover night cops? Sewer boards? High school football? I have no doubt that conservative journalists (and I know a few, and have been considered one on occasion) would cover the overwhelming bulk of their beats just as well or just as poorly as the liberal ones. Owning a gun or attending church doesn’t make you a different sort of reporter. And I think, should Hewitt enlist his legions to infiltrate the newsrooms of America, they would find out the same thing.

There’s perhaps a couple of dozen journalists in the country making decisions that might shape the public debate. But this idea that liberal bias has saturated newsrooms and is affecting coverage decisions makes no sense to me. I’ve worked at four daily’s now and the only pervasive bias I’ve seen is toward stories that get people to buy the damn thing.

Kirkwood also makes an interesting, and I think hopelessly wrong-headed, assertion that social issues like gay marriage and abortion rights are “pet causes” of this imagined liberal media. As most rational observers have realized, no group has benefited more from the airing of these issues than conservatives, who have manipulated voters into believing the republic is teetering on the brink of a moral collapse. A real liberal agenda would mean a barrage of front page stories about income disparities, the healthcare crisis, the privatization of the military and campaign finance reform. It seems that Kirkwood is too wound up about gay cowboys to notice.

Every so often, just when the letters section of Romenesko has made my blood pressure shoot up into the stratosphere and I’m about to say screw it and move the ferrets and my books down to this little waterfront bar in the capital city of Belize, there’s a gem like that to brighten up the day.

A.