Media Newsflash: Activism Isn’t Just for Smelly Hippies Anymore
posted by August 16 at 0:26 AMon
Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman sent out another e-mail addressing the newsroom cheer that greeted word of Karl Rove’s resignation.
You can read the whole thing at Editor & Publisher, but there’s one line in particular I found curious—especially given The Seattle Times claim on objectivity.
I’ve bolded the line in the excerpt below:
I ask you all to leave your personal politics at the front door for one simple reason: A good newsroom is a sacred and magical place in which we can and should test every assumption, challenge each other’s thinking, ask the fundamental questions those in power hope we will overlook.
If we wore our politics on our sleeves in here, I have no doubt that in this and in most other mainstream newsrooms in America, the majority of those sleeves would be of the same color: blue. Survey after survey over the years have demonstrated that most of the people who go into this business tend to vote Democratic, at least in national elections. That is not particularly surprising, given how people make career decisions and that social service and activism is a primary driver for many journalists.
Boardman’s assumption: Republicans aren’t drawn to activism or social service. How’s that dose objectivity strike you GOP readers out there?
Boardman is relying on some pretty out-of-date stereotypes. I hate to break it to him—maybe he hasn’t been paying attention to the tax slashing, anti-gay, pro-property rights, pro-intelligent design, pro-conscience clause, anti-abortion, anti-immigrant activism out there—but from initiative drives to legislation to legal efforts, GOP activists have been working overtime during the last decade. Successfully.
Activism isn’t just for smelly Democratic hippies anymore. Has Boardman never heard of the Minutemen Project or MayDay for Marriage or Focus on the Family or Tim Eyman?
As for social service. Why do you think President Bush pushed his faith-based initiative legislation? This was a bone to the hundreds of thousands in the GOP base who are committed to social service work through church-affiliated groups. Does Boardman have data that defines and quantifies social service as primarily Democratic-based work?