July 07, 2006
More on the Media (Sorry)
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
I do a lot of traveling, and everywhere I go, people ask me the same questions:
How can you stand to work in New York City?
How did the media get to be anti-gun in the first place?
The answer to the first question is that you get numb after a while. As to the second question, there are three answers. The first is that people tend to hire like-minded people, regardless of profession.
To be a Detroit auto executive, for example, your mind must be frozen in the year 1955, regardless of whether you were around then or not. U.S. Marines, although highly individualistic, tend to think very much alike. Same with newspaper reporters, TV news bunnies, etc. No one wants a real iconoclast making everyone uncomfortable, and if everyone in the newsroom is anti-gun, NRA members are not going to be welcome.
Second, just about all journalists are products of what we call higher education, and if there is one place where independent thinking is dead, that is on college campuses. If it’s politically incorrect, you’d better not say it, write it, or even think it, or you’ll find yourself with straight Fs, no friends, and probably mandatory visits to the school shrink for attitude readjustment. The people who come out of this system are unlikely to say, “Wait a minute, the NRA may be right about this!”
And third is the NRA, whose PR machine is great at firing up its own members, but far less than successful at winning over the general public and the media. The classic example came in 1995, when Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA, referred to ATF agents as “jackbooted thugs.” This received major news coverage and got Bush the elder so upset that he resigned his NRA membership. It also played right into the hands of everyone who didn’t like the NRA to begin with.
And now, two questions: Don Imus claims Hillary Clinton is Satan. Is he correct? Second: I know I’m deaf, but is there anyone out there who understands a word that Dwight Yoakum sings? Does he sing in English? Thanks for your help.