Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Mark Steyn speaks on Navasky and CJR

Radio Blogger has a transcript of Hugh Hewitt's radio interview of Mark Steyn today in which they discuss Victor Navasky and Columbia Journalism Review. Here is the relevant excerpt (ellipses in orginal):

Hewitt: All right. Second inside baseball story, and I am going to have to publish an apology to David M., a blogger, who broke a story that Victor Navasky is running the Columbia Journalism Review. I mean, what's that strike you as? And you might explain who Navasky is.

Steyn: Well, I think this gets to the problem. I mean, he is the...he is the big guy at the Nation, which is a left-wing opinion magazine, and nothing wrong with that.

Hewitt: Right.

Steyn: But when you buy the Nation, you know it's a left-wing opinion magazine, and you buy it for that reason. The problem with what they call the mainstream media in the United States, is that it has this pose of somehow being neutral arbitors, you know, like they're the Supreme Court. They weigh all the arguments, and judiciously...and that's simply not the case. And so, when you find out that the most left-wing publisher in the country is actually in charge of, you know, a big influence of the Columbia Journalism Review, that actually does help explain the sort of dreary, monolithic bias that you get in a lot of the people who graduate from those things. A neighbor of mine asked me, she wants to go into journalism, and she said, you know, whether she should save up and bankrupt her parents in order to go to Columbia Journalism School. And I said that's ridiculous. If you want to write, start writing. And almost anything you do, in however many years you'd be spending at Columbia Journalism School, whether you want to go to Afghanistan and check out Bagram Air Force Base for yourself, or whatever, anything you do will be more useful than going and sitting and becoming part of the club at Columbia. That's just no use anymore.

Hewitt: Well, it does get you a job, though. I spent a lot of time with Nick Lemon recently, the dean at Columbia School of Journalism, and they do help you get jobs. I don't know that they can necessarily give you the experiences that real journalists have to had to understand the world, but they can get you employed.

[Ellipses in original.]

Note that despite his comments above, Hewitt owes me no apology. He helped publicize the original story, albeit with a healthy sense of skepticism, at least in part because the whole story seemed so outlandish on CJR's part. Once he heard that CJR was indeed naming Navasky chairman, he updated his post accordingly. All along, he gave full credit to this blog.

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