Thebastidge: Bernard Goldberg's "Arrogance"
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    Wednesday, September 01, 2004

    Bernard Goldberg's "Arrogance"

    I just finished reading this book (Arrogance on Amazon) on the Liberal bias in American Media. Goldberg has some pretty interesting points to make. He may not be compelling to a hard core left-ist, but then few things would be that contradict that worldview.
    Unlike the mindset he skewers in his book, he doesn't present a grand tapestry of conspiracies in a world too impossibly complex to comprehend, beyond the control of ordinary mortals. Instead, he shows us something every business major is warned about: groupthink strangling the marketplace of ideas. He shows us a closed academic circle (professors of journalism come from the 'approved' ranks of journalists from the 'best' schools), a cloistered environment in the newsroom where isolated "elite" intellectuals are insulated from reality as experienced by the common person, where dissent is not tolerated (indeed, differences of opinion are seen as instability, if not outright insanity) and blatant hypocrisy runs rampant as long as it serves 'the cause'.
    He closes with a few suggestions on how to improve the system, but I believe that by this point shear disgust has gotten the better of him. He tosses off his suggestions with a sort of fatalistic expectation that they won't come to pass. I also think he doesn't go far enough. Like the others of his profession, he may have some blinders on still. I think his suggestions are good as they go- to circulate new blood by hiring journalists from outside the Columbia University good ol' boys club, but publishers should also be hiring people who are not journalism majors at all. They should hire people who have gone through engineering and business tracks at college. People who have experience in actually operating in the world rather than a lifetime of being a supposedly disinterested observer.


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You got it right - Goldberg blasts groupthink, which if you don't think is a problem, look at what it did to the CIA in its antiterrorist effort.

    He actually shows very little of the disgust and bitterness that pretty much permeated his first book "Bias" - I think his point was validated by Bias' sales, and Arrogance was the next step in his argument.

    7:32 AM  

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