Young Conservatives trying to get into mainstream media face grim future, says Bob Novak

You think? They may be mentally ill.

Mick Gregory

Political columnist Bob Novak opened the curtains for a look behind the liberal bias in mainstream media. Remember Novak from the Valerie Plame blame Libby game?

The syndicated columnist made his remarks on a conference call with bloggers about his new book “The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington.”

Novak blamed liberal discrimination which he said forces young conservatives to remain “in the closet” if they hope to have a career in media.

“One of the big differences in 50 years is that the liberals have now filtered into the executive ranks of journalism. And so if you go into journalism now not in the closet but out in the open as a conservative, you’re going to have a hard time getting a job, believe me.”

Conservatives also don’t like journalism as a profession, Bob Novak added, saying that when he goes to various colleges and universities, the young conservatives he runs into rarely have any interest in journalism.

They did the math. Hey, they are probably business majors. Just read the WSJ and Finacial Times; you don’t have to be a financial wizard to see that papers are bleeding.

Journalism is a hard thing to gauge. When I set out with my first paper in the summer of 1948, for the Joliet Herald-News there were in the newsroom there about two or three people who had ever been to college. Journalism was not an educated person’s game. So we’re much better educated, we’re sophisticated, we have people with graduate degrees—they know a lot more but are they better reporters than the others? I rather doubt.

“They don’t seem to be interested in reporting what’s really happening on a day-by-day basis. Particularly, congressional reporting has gone way downhill. I thought the coverage of the farm bill where, for example, the first time since 1933, a tax increase was attached to a farm bill. Now isn’t that an interesting thing to put into the story? I didn’t read that in any story anywhere. So I think there’s an awful lot of journalism that’s instead of reporting or investigating is bloviating, editorializing, opinionating, analyzing. Some people say that the news stories read more like columns than the columns these days. And to some extent, that’s true.”

Editor & Publisher reported the findings of a Harris Poll, journalists are rated near the bottom of careers in prestige. The pay and future suck too. What’s left, a free newspaper at work?

The annual Harris Poll measuring public perceptions of 23 professions and occupations came out Wednesday — and you can find journalists in the Bottom Ten.

Just 13% of the 1,100 U.S. adults surveyed in June and July said the occupation of journalist had “very great prestige,” while 16% said it had “hardly any prestige at all.” The plurality of respondents, 47%, grudging conceded there was “some prestige” in being a journalist.

Contrast that to America’s most prestigious occupation, firefighter. Fully 61% of those surveyed said that job had “very great prestige.”

Journalists were rated ahead of just seven other occupations: union leader, stockbroker, entertainer, accountant, banker, actor, and real estate agent/broker.

In addition to firefighters, five occupations are perceived to have “very great” prestige by at least half of all adults — scientists (54%); teachers (54%); doctors (52%); military officers (52%); and nurses (50%).

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