The Corner

Educational Experience

Over in the Mediastan province of the NRO ummah, Kevin Williamson muses on our pal Kathleen Parker’s curious column blaming Rush for the death of newspapers. Kathleen writes:

Constant criticism of the “elite media” is comical to most reporters, whose paychecks wouldn’t cover Limbaugh’s annual dry cleaning bill. The truly elite media are the people most Americans have never heard of — the daily-grind reporters who turn out for city council and school board meetings.

Leaving aside the point that elitism isn’t a salary but a set of attitudes, I thought I’d add a couple of thoughts on school-board meetings.

I was on a School Board sub-committee in New Hampshire a couple of years back: Area high schools were filling up and declining to take my town’s kids so we entered into discussions with neighboring districts with a view to building a joint high school. After one somewhat difficult meeting, I got back to find a telephone message from the reporter at the local paper: “Hi, Mark. I couldn’t make School Board but I have to file my story this evening. Did anything happen that I need to know about?”

Happily, no. And her non-attendance proved no obstacle to filing a bland happy-face report on the event.

On another occasion, I absentmindedly forgot it was a public meeting and launched a blistering attack on a neighboring town. As the evening ended, the nice lady reporter said to me, “Don’t worry, Mark. I won’t put any of those controversial things you said in the paper.”

I don’t think Kathleen can look to School Board coverage to save American newspapering.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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