Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Walter Kirn At Andrew Sullivan: Term Limits for Big J Journalists

Like this post very much and especially the notion that "term limits" for journalists is even more appropriate than "term limits" for politicians ... Check out what Walter Kirn says here:
It's not the politician who ought to be covered by term limits, it's the reporters, especially if they can't resist the temptation to be accepted by the folks they ought to be offending consistently.
And this too certainly spells the whole dirty business out:
What big-time Washington journalists largely do these days, in my experience, is to get as close as possible to power, socially and in every other way, while maintaining the legal fiction that they aren't implicated in its workings. They send their kids to school with power's kids, they marry it, they go to parties with it, they jabber with it on the phone, they watch the game with it from adjoining seats, and, as a natural result, they keep its confidences -- until, that is, some secret leaks out anyway and they have to pretend that they didn't already know it but will get to the bottom of it immediately or that they knew it all along and just weren't telling their audiences because they were bound by some lofty code of ethics that allows them to do the jobs they rarely do. They're profound double-dealers, is what I'm saying, who pay for their access, influence, and by going along and getting along until it's simply too embarrassing not to. They reserve their best stories for one another, publishing them only when they have to and feeling very nervous when they do, because it might screw up the Great Arrangement. And afterwards, once the secrets are on the street, it often comes out that they were common knowledge among the people whose jobs it was to tell them.