Little Miss Know-It-All has a column blaming Rush Limbaugh for the deterioration of the newspaper industry. Jennifer Rubin and Kevin Williamson provide rebuttals. My initial reaction to the overweening arrogance of Parker’s lecture is NSFW, as the bloggers say. The part I can reprint:
“Newspaper columnist” used to be a gig that you had to work a long time in the news business to get. The late, great Lewis Grizzard, for example, started out as a brilliant young sports reporter, and nonetheless was past 30 — and had already served as executive sports editor of the Chicago Tribune — before he became a columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1977.
Then in the 1980s and ’90s, as cable news and USA Today started encroaching on the turf of the metropolitan dailies, there was this big push for “diversity” and “youth,” the chief result of which was a lot of Clever Girl Columnists wasting newsprint. (Hello, Rheta Grimsley Johnson! Hello, Maureen Dowd!)
Kathleen Parker was one of the better Clever Girl Columnists who got the affirmative-action leg up in that manner. But she succumbed to the Elite Media Syndrome of thinking that working in the news business makes you somehow superior to the guy who drops 50 cents in the newsbox, and her insufferable elitism is an apt metaphor for what went wrong with the business.
The privileged position of the pundit (or, in Parker’s case, pundette) has been rendered obsolete by the blogosphere. In her desperation to remain relevant, Parker swung out wildly at Limbaugh. Rush has 20 million listeners and if he deigns to take notice of the insult, his rebuttal will be heard by way more people than read Parker’s snooty little column.
BTW, I’d can’t wait to see what Quin Hillyer has to say about this.
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