Monday, May 23, 2005
NY Paper Wars...
So, Ben Smith, AKA New York Observer's Politicker hits quite the bank shot: He compliments Ryan Sager and myself* as way to slam the Daily News for hiring the "wrong" type of NY conservative. His example of this is Dawn Eden:
The mistake Ben makes is the suggestion that there has to be only one sort of conservatism that a New York paper should embrace -- the "libertarian" kind as opposed to the "U.S. House of Representatives" kind.
This is such a perfect snapshot of the way in which the News constantly gets tangled over its own feet in trying to be, and yet not be, the Post. Hiring a woman banished from Murdoch-land for conservatism somehow crystallizes that.
Eden's...conservatism is more U.S. House of Representatives: Here she is cheerleading the Christian attack on Sponge-Bob, and here's her observation that "at the root of homosexuality is a desire to avoid true human intimacy."
Besides, there's little indication that the News is indeed trying to get a particular kind of right-winger by hiring Dawn -- who is a friend, though we have several different political viewpoints. Dawn screwed up in a major way at the Post and paid a price for it. (She was not "banished from Murdoch-land for conservatism.") Still, the fact is that she is a talented copy- and headline writer. And her background in blogs has obviously helped her get added responsibilities at the News. It's smart of the News to recognize that blogs are out there and that someone should cover them.
That's often how America works: People get second chances. But, as the New's own "marathon blogger" Derek Rose (read his full blog to get the pun) makes clear, Dawn is going to have to work to get the respect and trust of her new colleagues. She will have to work twice as hard to demonstrate that she is both a good, hard-working journalist and a professional of integrity. Second chances don't mean automatic free passes.
*Oh, I should feel doubly impressed that Ben puts me in the same "younger, libertarian generation" as the decidedly impressive prodigy, Mr. Sager. But, are you kidding me? Thanks, Ben, but despite my good "black-don't-crack" genes, I actually remember punk music from the first time around (scroll down to December 27 2002).