The Corner

L’Affaire Sherman

AJ, one of my themes in recent years has been, “Journalism is going to pot.” Let me be more specific. When Richard Sherman gave his post-game interview, I was amazed: This was something unexpected. It was something fresh, unscripted, spontaneous, human. It was journalistic gold. And the network stopped the interview immediately — because, I guess, it was unconventional. I found that bizarre, and (as a viewer) maddening.

I don’t know whose decision it was, but I couldn’t imagine being the interviewer, holding that microphone, and thinking, “Gee, I better cut away, fast.” I would have thought, “Jackpot! Keep going, Sherman.”

I’ve noticed something in the last several years — the last five or ten years, I would say: People are treating journalists as though they were politicians. I get some mail of this kind. People might say, “Why did you write what you wrote? It was impolitic, unhelpful,” etc. Now, I admit, part of this is our fault, because we blur the lines: At NRO (though not in the magazine, I think), we publish politicians and their staffers. Plus, people waltz between politics and journalism. (I myself had a brief stint in politics — a month and a half. I didn’t crater the system, thankfully.)

As a rule, I like the come-one, come-all approach. Anyway, this is too big a topic for a lil’ blogpost.

I basically want to say, journalists dream of moments such as that Richard Sherman interview, or should. And it was like the network wet its pants and said, “Eek! Something unexpected! Something uncanned! Cut!