Back in September, subscribers to Red Herring magazine's e-mail bulletin "The Red Eye" received a missive they probably weren't expecting. "Tony Perkins here with a special invitation," began the message. "As most Red Herring readers know, I've stuck my neck out early in the next presidential campaign by personally backing my friend Governor George W. Bush." Perkins, the magazine's founder and editor in chief, went on to invite readers to join "'Technology and Entertainment Entrepreneurs for George Bush,' a national grass-roots effort" that--the aforementioned description notwithstanding--already included such tech industry heavies as Floyd Kvamme, John Chambers, Jim Barksdale, Gregory Slayton, Michael Dell, and Tim Draper.
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol was fired from ABC's This Week at the behest of the liberal media conspiracy. That, at any rate, is the contention of conservative columnist Mona Charen, who writes that "most chat shows have ratios of liberals to conservatives in the neighborhood of 3 to 2" and "the number of liberal producers to conservatives is probably 20 to 1."
The New York Times is known for its scrupulous approach to assigning book reviews, frequently disqualifying reviewers who have even the most tenuous personal or professional links to a book's author or authors. It was surprising, then, when the Times assigned Neil Lewis, a well-regarded political reporter at the paper's D.C. bureau, to review Joe Conason and Gene Lyons's The Hunting of the President: The Ten Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Generally speaking, newspaper column writing is today a moribund art form. Gone are the days when crusty reporters would ascend to the ranks of the thrice-weekly (or even daily) columnists only after years of dues paying, bringing with them the shoe-leather skills, wit, and wisdom of a career spent in the trenches. More and more often, a "columnist" is someone who never leaves his or her office, rarely actually picks up the phone, and ekes out 750 words a week. And if there is one particularly offensive category of modern columnist, it is the syndicated ideological hack -- the non-journalist, usually a political refugee of one kind or another, who spends his or her time lobbing propaganda grenades at the opposition.