There have (thankfully) been few things I’ve written and then later regretted. But here’s one: Last year, I criticized the “effete” liberal media for bias against what might be described as America’s “gun culture.” It was a short blog post calling for ideological and cultural diversity in the newsroom — worthwhile goals, I still contend — but the criticism was harsh, and much too broad — inadvertently encompassing everyone from cable news commentators, to local crime reporters, to war correspondents.
Conservatives have long dined out on criticizing the ”nattering nabobs of negativism,” and this is frequently warranted. But It’s also important to acknowledge that the profession of journalism can also be both noble and dangerous. This is something I failed to do in that post, but want to correct now.
Consider this tragic story from the AP:
“A veteran Associated Press photographer was killed and an AP reporter was wounded on Friday when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan.
“… As they were sitting in the car waiting for the convoy to move, a unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to the car, yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47, the freelancer said. He then surrendered to the other police and was arrested.”
As I drink my second cup of coffee of the morning, and begin typing away, that kind of puts things in perspective.
To be sure, there are plenty of snarky media elites who, from time to time, do deserve criticism. And yes, I still believe more cultural diversity is needed.
But sitting safely ensconced in my comfortable office in Washington, DC, it was pretty damn hypocritical of me to indict an entire profession.
The always classy Ed Morrissey put it well here:
Attack on 2 AP journalists shows just how dangerous war correspondence is. Pray for those who risk their lives to report on war and conflict
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) April 4, 2014
So I write this as a reminder to conservatives, and to me: Journalism ain’t for wimps.