Journalists do it too

Journalists do it too

I’m not one for letting bishops and others who turned their eyes at priestly buggery off the hook, but I am interested in making sure that journalists don’t let themselves off the hook of hypocrisy. Mainstream liberal journalists have their own skeletons in the closet, scandalous items that they feel free to overlook because otherwise it would undermine the liberal agenda.

For example, a contributor to Andrew Sullivan’s blog last week recounted a story regarding the senior senator from my state.

Quick story. In the mid 1980s I went to a fancy Fifth Av. party for Senator Ted Kennedy. There were journalists there and lots of other bigwigs. The only time I’d seen Kennedy before was at a campaign stop in 1979 when he’d been seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He might have won, but I realized at the party that it would have been a terrible thing because he was the drunkest human being I had ever encountered in my life, and chances were that it hadn’t just started that night. Sure, he already had this reputation, but it was a vague reputation, all myth and gossip, while the intoxicated wreck in front of me was as vivid and specific as a car wreck. How many thousands of times, I wondered, had such behavior as I was witnessing been quietly countenanced by journalists, and how much other wild, scary stuff pertaining to other movers and shakers who had a shot at ruling the free world, say, had they deftly slipped into their back pockets in return for the right to attend such parties as this one? I was a kid then, in my early twenties, and I couldn’t answer that question. Now I’m older, I’ve seen more, and I can. A certain kind of job in journalism can only be kept if its holder, for the most part, refrains from doing it.

Human nature is such that we have an amazing ability to overlook the evidence of our eyes; to not see what is right before us because we don’t want to see it. Bishops and other priests are not alone. Teachers, school administrators, police, judges, and even journalists are just as susceptible.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
1 comment
  • Thanks for writing this Dom. My Father wrote for the Globe and he learned early on that what got journalists in trouble is when they drank freely, so my father rarely drank.

    I as a seminarian was advised by another wise priest that celibacy and alcohol don’t mix. I don’t drink either.

    It is true. When we forget those things, we end up walking down some bad paths. It is when we take our roles seriously that we most fulfill our vocation.

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