Monday, June 09, 2008

So Many Dicks

I'm shocked.

The most traditional location to reach the political establishment, the Washington Post opinion section, is brazenly male-dominated. Seventeen of the 19 columnists are men; only three of the columnists are racial minorities. Guest op-eds could present more voices, but they rarely do. This year, only 12 percent of the Post's guest pieces came from women, according to a May count by ombudsman Deborah Howell. At the New York Times, eight of the ten weekly columnists are men; one is black. (The Times also recently created a bimonthly graphics column, a post filled by a black commentator.) And in an industry review last year, about one out of four columnists were women at the largest syndicates around the country, according to Editor and Publisher. As Times columnist Nick Kristoff lamented last month, even as reporting staffs diversify, white men dominate American punditry "from newspaper columnists to television talking heads."


According to a recent, two-year study of the four major Sunday talk shows by Media Matters, out of over 2,000 guests, 77 percent were men and 82 percent were white. The top rated show, "Meet the Press," also led the pack in male representation, at an embarrassing 85 percent. Latinos were almost completely absent, comprising one percent of the guests. Latinos make up about 14 percent of the population, and the study ran through 2006 and 2007, when immigration policy was often in the news.

...Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post's editorial page editor, jumped in the fray by declaring, "there ought to be more women on op-ed pages in general. Over time, I intend to make that happen." (Apparently he did not have a three-year window in mind.)

At least we have Anne Applebaum, America's Stupidest PunditTM.