Before the symposiums, before the conferences and reports and op-eds, before any of the hand-wringing as to how they ignored the story of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, alleged mass murderer and abortionist, reporters can do one thing.
They can walk around their newsrooms.
They can walk around their newsrooms, look at the people sitting there, and ask themselves a question: Is this person sitting here because a pro-life journalist, or even a journalist who could report fairly on abortion, was not hired?
Honestly, there’s no need for white papers, roundtables, or conferences at the University of Liberalism’s prestigious Walter Duranty School of Journalism. Reporters at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the networks can simply look at their colleagues. How did these people get their jobs? And who didn’t get the jobs they got? And who made those decisions? Is a single one of them pro-life?
A good person to ask this question, and even answer it, would be the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple. Wemple writes a column on the media, and he has had the integrity to ask mainstream media reporters why they haven’t covered the Gosnell trial. But Wemple knows the answer to that question: The mainstream media has a farm system, and they only recruit from the pro-choice left. This is where the problem starts, and any serious inquiry will have to address it.
Before coming to the Post, Wemple was the editor of the Washington City Paper. The City Paper, a hipster weekly, is a minor league journalism team that feeds a lot of writers to the Washington Post. Every large city in America has such a paper, from New York City (The Village Voice) to Seattle (The Stranger). In the late 1980s I was an intern at the City Paper, and in the early 1990s I wrote several pieces for them. If you want to know why Kermit Gosnell’s slaughterhouse has been ignored, you have to start at places like this. It’s where young reporters prove their liberal bona fides, and thus move on to the mainstream media. This is where kids who aren’t comfortable with abortion, or who are from remotely conservative-sounding colleges, never make it past the first round.
Aside from Wemple, here are some past editors at the Washington City Paper: David Carr, now at the New York Times. Carr is a former drug addict and a man who, according to his memoir “The Night of the Gun,” smoked a lot of crack and punched his girlfriend in the stomach. Liza Mundy, who like so many others went from the City Paper to the Post (she was not the top editor at the City Paper), is not exactly pro-life. Mundy is the author of “The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming our Culture” and “Everything Conceivable: How the Science of Assisted Reproduction is Changing Our World.” She also wrote a quickie mash note about Michelle Obama. Sarah Palin she ain’t. Then there’s former City Paper editor David Plotz, who is now the editor of the Post-owned Slate. Plotz is married to Hanna Rosin, a pro-abortion feminist and the author of the book “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women.”
Beginning to get the picture?
So, as Erik Wemple awaits answers from the media, let’s ask Mr. Wemple some questions. In his time as editor of the City Paper, how were conservatives treated and thought of? When the annual submissions for internships arrived, were any blackballed because of their political views? Do you recall any pro-life journalist being hired by the City Paper? How many of your new colleagues at the Washington Post are pro-life? Does that number reflect the “diversity” of opinion in America on the question of life? What were pro-lifers thought of by City Paper editors such as David Plotz and Liza Mundy?
I’ve written before about how I was recruited by the Washington Post around the time I was writing for the City Paper in the early 1990s. When I was 25, I met with the editors of the Outlook section — the Sunday op-ed part of the paper — who liked something I had written. Of course, it was very liberal.
I did wind up writing several pieces for the Post over the years, most often for the Outlook section. But as I grew more conservative, I became more and more aware of what the parameters were. Nothing pro-life, nothing too blatantly Christian, nothing arguing about natural law or homosexuality — unless, of course, it was a switchback, like when Laura Ingraham wrote about her love for her gay brother. Inevitably, I was censored. The most striking example of censorship occurred in 1994, when Outlook ran, at a full page, an op-ed/essay of mine about saving Washington’s Howard Theater, one of the oldest historically black theaters in America. I went into detail about the history of the Howard, yet something strange happened to my copy when I got to the 1960s. I had referred to the “moral and cultural collapse” that had destroyed the Howard and the surrounding neighborhood — the drugs and rioting that had brought down that part of town. The night before the paper came out, I was called and told that the phrase “moral and cultural collapse” had been changed to “social upheaval.” Note: This was an editorial in the editorial section.
I didn’t complain. This was the Post. You didn’t complain. Because, if you did, you’d be out — and if you were out, there was nowhere else to go in those dark ages before the Internet. It was the Borg ship, it was the collective, and if you were pro-life, you never got hired. After decades of this, abortionists can get away with anything — and they do.
Mark Judge is the author of A Tremor of Bliss: Sex, Catholicism, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.