Like the nearby Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Newseum -- Washington's museum dedicated to journalism -- displays dinosaurs. . . .(Objectively, Michael Gerson is a douchebag.)
Behind a long rack of preserved, historic front pages, there is a kind of journalistic mausoleum, displaying the departed. The Ann Arbor News, closed July 23 after 174 years in print. The Rocky Mountain News, taken at age 150. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which passed quietly into the Internet. . . .
But a visit to the Newseum is a reminder that what is passing is not only a business but also a profession -- the journalistic tradition of nonpartisan objectivity. . . .
At its best, the profession of journalism has involved a spirit of public service and adventure -- reporting from a bomber during a raid in World War II, or exposing the suffering of Sudan or Appalachia, or rushing to the site of the World Trade Center moments after the buildings fell.(None of which Michael Gerson has ever done.)
By these standards, the changes we see in the media are also a decline.(And by any standard, Michael Gerson is a douchebag.)
Most cable news networks have forsaken objectivity entirely and produce little actual news, since makeup for guests is cheaper than reporting.(Translation: "WWAAAAHH! I'm not on O'Reilly!")
Most Internet sites display an endless hunger to comment and little appetite for verification.(Translation: "Andrew Sullivan is my favorite blogger.")
Free markets, it turns out, often make poor fact-checkers, instead feeding the fantasies of conspiracy theorists from "birthers" to Sept. 11, 2001, "truthers."(Translation: "I'm on the payroll of a Saudi-funded think tank. What do I care about free markets?")
Bloggers in repressive countries often show great courage, but few American bloggers have the resources or inclination to report from war zones, famines and genocides.Next time you're tempted to denounce somebody as a complete douchebag, resist the temptation, because no douchebag is more truly complete than Michael Gerson.
(Via Memeorandum. More from Mark Steyn at NRO and Big Government.)
UPDATE: It would be a terrible thing if anyone resorted to sensationalistic headlines: