Ross Douthat From His Blog At The NY Times: ‘The Democrats’ Identity Politics Problem’

Full post here.

On the topic of race:

‘This kind of ethnic/racial patronage is hardly a new thing in our politics, and it doesn’t make today’s liberals the “real” racists, or prove that President Obama is actually some kind of post-colonial score-settler, as the Michael Moores of right-wing identity politics are wont to claim. But it does means that when it comes to exploiting America’s ethnic divisions to mobilize key constituencies, today’s Democratic Party sins as much as it is sinned against.’

Keep in mind Douthat is writing at the NY Times during an election season which has arguably the furthest Left president in recent memory facing a terrible economy.  This same president has promoted members of the old Civil Rights apparatus to some of the highest reaches of government.  Patronage is a word that comes to mind.  The moral arguments used against slavery in big-State progressivism become weapons, and as is the case in politics, such weapons will be used to protect any advantage, or perceived advantage.

In this blog’s opinion, the NY Times will likely continue on a journey which has rendered it particularly ideologically narrow.  I think many people at the Times are right to lament to loss of ‘objectivity’ in journalism, the importance of editors, fact-checking and shoe-leather reporting.  Yet, they’ve had a big hand in their own undoing.  It’s difficult to trust the Times’ coverage of finance, politics and foreign affairs which shares a newsroom with knee-jerk support for feminist causes, global warming, identity politics and those sad stragglers echoing the rise of New Left, the Occupy movement.

To break up Douthat’s paragraph for emphasis:

‘And it means that the Democrats’ struggle to reach Klein’s “plain old white insurance salesman” and the Republicans’ struggle to reach Hispanics and African-Americans are in some sense mirror images of one another. They’re both a consequence of party leaders taking the path of least resistance on racially-charged issues, and they’re both reminders of the hard truth that the more racially diverse America of the future could easily become, and remain, a more polarized society as well.’

A great nation deserves great racial politics, and great journalists to deliver racial politics.

Related On This Site:  God and continental philosophy…regulated markets and progressive liberation theology?: Robert George And Cornel West At Bloggingheads: “The Scandal Of The Cross”Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’

William Saletan and Ross Douthat At Slate: ‘Liberalism Is Stuck Halfway Between Heaven And Earth’…Douthat’s The Grand New PartyRoss Douthat At First Principles: ‘The Quest for Community in the Age of Obama: Nisbet’s Prescience’

Still reliving the 60′s?: A Few Thoughts On Robert Bork’s “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”

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2 thoughts on “Ross Douthat From His Blog At The NY Times: ‘The Democrats’ Identity Politics Problem’

  1. Reporters are biased, but not in the oversimplified, left-right way that Ann Coulter and the rest of the bias cops would have everyone believe. As Nicholas Confessore argued in The American Prospect, most of the loudest bias-spotters were not reared in a newsroom. They come from politics, where everything is driven by ideology. Voting Democratic and not going to church — two bits of demography often trotted out to show how liberal the press is — certainly have some bearing on one’s interpretation of events. But to leap to the conclusion that reporters use their precious column inches to push a left-wing agenda is specious reasoning at its worst. We all have our biases, and they can be particularly pernicious when they are unconscious. Arguably the most damaging bias is rarely discussed — the bias born of class. A number of people interviewed for this story said that the lack of socioeconomic diversity in the newsroom is one of American journalism’s biggest blind spots. Most newsroom diversity efforts, though, focus on ethnic, racial, and gender minorities, which can often mean people with different skin color but largely the same middle-class background and aspirations. At a March 13 panel on media bias at Columbia’s journalism school, John Leo, a columnist for U.S. News & World Report, said, “It used to be that anybody could be a reporter by walking in the door. It’s a little harder to do that now, and you don’t get the working-class Irish poor like Hamill or Breslin or me. What you get is people from Ivy League colleges with upper-class credentials, what you get is people who more and more tend to be and act alike.” That, he says, makes it hard for a newsroom to spot its own biases.

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    That makes a lot of sense, and I suspect it will also lead not only to a similarity of thought, but increasing desire to institutionalize that class of people.

    In some European countries, journalism is quite well-paid, and full of similarly-minded people self-selecting, who’ve formed the right connections.

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