Entering the University of Texas many years ago, I decided to major in journalism. I loved to write and I’d won a number of awards in high school, so I felt sure a future in that field was perfect for me.
My first week in school, I met other older students in the Radio, Television & Film department where journalism is taught. They explained that one of the requirements for a degree involved toiling for a semester or two on the staff of The Daily Texan, UT’s student newspaper.
One day one of those students gave me a little piece of advice.
“It sounds like you’re a conservative,” she observed, “Whatever you do, never let any of them know you’re a conservative or you’ll spend your entire time on the newspaper in the Classified Ads department.”
I can’t say I was entirely stunned by this advice. UT is the alma mater of Walter Cronkite and Bill Moyers, hardly conservatives.
Nevertheless, I suppose in my own idealistic vision of the world at that time, journalism was about unbiased reporting of the news. In my mind, the only way journalism was credible is if journalists reported just the facts. Armed with the correct information, Americans could make the best political decisions possible.
While that’s a wonderful idea and they even teach it in school, it’s not what really happens.
Fortunately for me, I quickly realized my naivety and switched majors.
Sadly, American journalism is decidedly to the left and has been for a very long time. Finding a reporter who is truly unbiased is refreshing rather than expected as it should be. As a Republican and a conservative, I’m constantly aware that in any political campaign we’re in, both the Democrats and the press are the opponents we face on the other side.
While this has always been true, it’s been especially true since the country elected Barack Obama president. Not only has the press failed to properly question any activity of his administration, but on occasion, it’s been the administration’s biggest defender as well.
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you, news that the Justice Department executed a broad sweeping records search of the Associated Press struck me as one of the dumbest things they could have done, but it also raises the greatest hope that these “journalists” will actually begin doing their jobs.
I know this is really hoping here, but I know that if this doesn’t do it, nothing will.
Let’s hope then.
Maybe it’s the real change we’ve all been waiting for.