Friday, October 24, 2014

Thanks for Everything, F--- You

The Nazis and the old Soviet Union assigned political officers to military units to enforce ideological conformity. The Stasi was legendary for getting civilians to inform on each other for the slightest breaches of ideology--what we would call political correctness.

Needless to say, we would never do any such thing. We don't need commissars to keep us in line. The elite polices itself and us, without prompting, and their purview, as they would have it, extends to everything. There's a whole genre now in journalism dedicated to denouncing any found "lack of diversity"; not just in a given field or organization, but in our hobbies and associations (even bird-watching is under watch).
 Of course it isn't homogeneity but whiteness that bothers them. Spike Lee once said America is so racist we think three black guys standing on a corner constitutes a riot. That was a long time ago. Now we're so anti-racist we think three white guys working in the same room constitutes a hate crime in progress (but not everything is changed: the brothers are still on the corner and white guys still do the bulk of the work).
A related sub-genre was created by an enterprising writer in analyzing the effectiveness and aesthetics of that now familiar entertainment, the public apology. He should have quite a career ahead of him.

So it's unsurprising that an Intercept scribe interrupted his anecdote about how the late Washington Post editor Bill Bradlee gave him a break when he was a young ambitious reporter to question the man's integrity in doing it and genuflect to diversity from graveside:

 I am sure my cause was helped by the fact that I was young and white and male, the kind of object that older editors who are white and male tend to have a biased soft spot for. This is why it’s good we don’t have as many Ben Bradlees these days; the mirroring and replication of a dominant culture is weaker now. Which doesn’t mean we’re in a universally better place; we have a lot of editors who are more cautious than they should be (patriarchy replaced by management culture), and a large number of top slots are still filled with guys (yes, including at The Intercept). It’s hard to believe that gender played no role in the firing of Jill Abramson at The New York Times.

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