Thursday, September 08, 2016

If Not, Then Say Something

My closing question last night was intended as a bit of an insult, obviously, but it was also just restating a point I've been trying to make since the "are bloggers journalists???" conversation of the early aughts. I don't actually care what the answer is. The point I always tried to make was that those who consider themselves to be journalists always latch on to some higher ideal of investigative reporting, or similar, even though very few people who call themselves - and are called by their peers - journalists do anything resembling that. Matt Lauer is a journalist because he gets paid 8 figures a year to do a job that enough people call "journalism." I'm not going to argue with that. Maybe his peers should, if they want people to think "journalism" is something other than what Matt Lauer does? Maybe instead of complaining about how members of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists are big stupidheads, or worrying about The Bloogers, they should realize that to most people in the country, the pinnacle of journalism is, in fact, Matt Lauer. They gave him a really important job, after all! Don't want the face of your profession to be a morning show host, then say something. Though not too loudly, that 8 figure seat will be empty eventually...

And it's wrong to pick on Matt. Plenty of more "respectable journalists" have performed about as well in this type of thing. We all remember (hopefully not, actually, it's my job to remember these things) the Chris WallaceCharlie Gibson/George Steph Democratic primary debate in 2008. Lauer would have fit in perfectly.