All of us should have this on the wall, right over the desk, and we should chant it morning and evening:
Just as Hollywood, in its hiring practices, has replaced talent with education, journalism is in danger of replacing experience with report cards. Journalism is not a profession. There is no specific body of knowledge required, and there is no licensing. What is needed is a sharp set of skills, high powers of observation, and a humility about how much we can understand quickly, and these come only from experience. But when you’ve gone through Yale or Stanford, when you’ve been told how smart you are, when you got 700s on your SATs, you start to believe what mom has whispered in your ear. You start to think that you “know.” It’s a kind of self-inflicted grade inflation. I’m bright, therefore I’m right.
This is from a long letter from the great William Katz to Powerline. You’ll love the whole thing , I promise you. I added a few thoughts on my blog ; it seems to me that the recent agony of The New Republic is very much a part of all this.