Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Life After Desk

The item that Gawker published about me yesterday is an excellent example of the double standard that pervades left-wingers' attitudes about journalists: the idea that it is somehow scary for journalists to openly support conservative causes, while perfectly acceptable for them to embrace liberal ones.

The Web site's item derides me for writing "[n]ews headlines today" while "lobbying for pro-life justices by night." "Swell," the writer adds sarcastically. (The item also calls me a "wackjob," but I'll grant that Gawker may mean that affectionately, based on its past coverage depicting me as a quaintly bizarre alien from Planet Christian.)

Would anyone like to bet how newsworthy it would be to Gawker if a New York City newspaper staffer told his or her blog readers to visit Planned Parenthood's Web site and aid their campaign for a pro-abortion judge?

A columnist for a major New York City newspaper's Web site recently told her readers that she does some work for Planned Parenthood. Where's the outrage? Last month, many New York City newspaper employees publicly participated in a charity event benefiting a group of nonprofits that included Dignity/New York—which actively campaigns against the tenets and policies of the Roman Catholic Church. Where's the outrage?

There is no outrage, of course, neither do I believe there should be. Reporters and editors are human beings, and should not be required to give up their beliefs and ideals at the newsroom entrance. In fact, I submit that it is impossible for anyone to be a good reporter or editor without having deep and strongly held views on political and social issues.

The challenge is for journalists to present the news in a manner extending beyond their personal opinions to encompass all the information relevant to the stories at hand. That is the way that great editors and reporters have operated for generations, and that is the ideal—however challenging it may be to achieve—that drives all New York's newspapers. Well, nearly all—I'm not so sure about the Post.