The phony concept of media “diversity” has resulted in more liberals being hired by Big Media organizations that are already dominated by liberals. It is being done in the name of hiring “people of color,” rather than people whose first qualification is the ability to report who, what, when, where, why and how. It is done at the expense of true diversity in philosophical outlook. Papers devoted to diversity would rather look right than be right.
This kind of attitude resulted in the Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times. A young black reporter got away with a series of lies because management bent over backward to keep him on the payroll and even promote him. The scandal resulted in editor Howell Raines leaving the paper, after admitting that southern guilt may have been a factor in Blair staying on and even prospering at the Times.
Diversity is still in fashion, partly because of white guilt and partly because of the really big money that goes into this fashionable liberal cause. Consider that Knight Ridder and the New York Times each poured over $200,000 into the recent convention of “UNITY: Journalists of Color.” Gannett, parent company of USA Today, contributed $100,000 for the convention, while the Gannett Foundation provided an additional $100,000. Big Media companies contributing at least $75,000 include Bloomberg, the Tribune Company, and Time Warner. Companies contributing at least $50,000 include Black Entertainment Television, CBS, and National Public Radio.
It’s important to understand the ramifications of this policy. At the annual meeting of Gannett, parent company of USA Today, there was far more discussion about diversity in the company than in how Jack Kelley had committed massive fabrications in print and had embarrassed the paper. The liberals who run the company and the paper are very concerned about making it appear that they are sensitive to the concerns of certain approved minority groups. That concern trumps the need for accuracy and objectivity.
The “UNITY” group lobbies for more phony diversity. Its president says the group sends delegations to conventions held by such groups as the American Society of Newspaper Editors to advocate “greater diversity in hiring and coverage.” Again, it’s important to realize that he does not mean ideological diversity. But listen to this: he says that, in January, UNITY and the Radio and Television News Directors Association convened a summit on diversity in broadcasting, “with Columbia University’s Department of Journalism as our host.” He adds that, “Among those attending were the presidents of news divisions at ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, along with two dozen other news executives from local broadcasting outlets.”
We are witnessing nothing less than the decline and demise of old-fashioned objective news reporting. Rather than report the facts, the concern has become who reports them, and what ethnic group he or she represents. More of this so-called diversity means more liberal bias. It’s no wonder that the convention of minority journalists erupted into strong applause and a standing ovation when John Kerry spoke to the group.