I am simply astounded by how seriously so many — mostly angry liberal readers — take college newspaper endorsements and/or my tepid mockery of same. In fairness, one point I think has some merit is that such one-sidedness is a small sign of the trouble the GOP is in vis-à-vis young educated voters in the near future. But, folks, it an’t some huge cosmic omen. I’m sure Reagan did better than John McCain did among college newspapers in 1980, but I’d be surprised if he did that much better. And again, whatever his showing, it was a lagging not leading indicator.
Indeed, for every spoonful of merit to the idea that college newspapers are the future, there’s a trowel of merit to the point I was trying to make: Obama is the flavor of the moment and college newspaper editors are as prone to faddishness as college kids generally. I find it hilarious how much respect many readers have for the intellectual chops of these kids. Having been to dozens of campuses this year alone, let me tell you that college newspaper workers (I was an editor myself) are not a superior breed of student. Some are impressive. Many aint. Most are just younger versions of grown-up journalists, only more liberal, more self-important, more emotional and more resentful that people don’t care enough about what they have to say.
Update: From a reader:
I was one of the few, the proud 1980 Reagan-endorsing college paper editors (Cornell College, Iowa, you could look it up). I think you have it pretty much right. In a small college it’s a job that often goes to one of the only one or two people who want the job, and an open conservative isn’t likely to win a tiebreaker from those who make the pick, even if they want the bother. That was pretty much it for journalism for me; one of the most important things I learned as editor was what real journalists were getting paid.
As far as the self-important, emotional stuff – did you know me in college or something? Because it’s exactly true.
Keep up the good work,