Ouch, the Bigot Card Is Played
“Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer.” — C.K. Chesterton
IN A 50-YEAR JOURNALISM CAREER it was bound to happen, especially given the times. They have played the “bigot” card on me with the label “white supremacist dinosaur” thrown in for good measure.
The surprise was that this ad hominem attack came from KPC Media, a chain of papers in Northeast Indiana with which our foundation has a more than 30-year relationship. Indeed, the company’s founder, the late George Witwer, donated our first office space and was a mentor until his retirement — a great journalist, by the way, and a formidable tennis player.
I am told his company has sold in part or whole, and it shows.
To back up a bit, the opprobrium stems from my Nov. 10 essay on the midterm election, “An Electorate Gone Bad.” KPC’s new executive editor didn’t agree with it — not one bit.
And although I appreciate the new management calling attention to my essay, the criticism might have been more credible if the editor had actually published the work or touched on its central point or even read past the first paragraph. As it was, he took that single paragraph and explicated it in the clever way that sophomore editors do, sprinkling name-calling and characterization throughout in hopes of provoking the ire of the dean.
Ignored was the argument that electorates change, often suddenly, with import that should be noted and discussed. In this case, credentialed experts seeing a marked shift toward envy-driven political trends that if continuing will be disastrous for this nation.
Again, this all was dismissed as “bigoted.” But the word, properly used, requires an “unreasonable” aspect. It is not bigoted, for instance, to describe women who say they are against families as “women against families” or to describe ethnic groups who have not assimilated as “unassimilated ethnics.” Otherwise, it would be impossible to describe them at all, a situation that any newsman must deplore. And a distinction in group voting patterns, unfortunate or not, is important news.
Until recently, journalism was biased. Now it is just horrid. — tcl