Via a tweet from Matt Yglesias, we noticed something odd about the new Washington Post Post Politics authors page. Out of 27 total columnists and reporters, three are black men and three are white women. The rest are white men. And if you don't scroll past the fold, white men are all you see.
This is the same problem Sara Libby wrote about a couple of weeks ago after Michael Calderone fretted over the rise of the young pundit. It's not the youth, Libby said, it's the same lack of diversity that's always been an issue. The problem with New Media's worrywarts, Latoya Peterson notes, is that they ignore the fact that New Media just perpetuates the old problems of Old Media: that you have to be part of the club to break in in the first place.
To be fair, diversity is something many newsrooms strive for, but fall short in achieving, TAP included. But notwithstanding the recent hire of Karen Tumulty from Time, the Post has had opportunities to hire nonwhite men but has passed them up. As Libby says:
The Post had a chance to incorporate more diversity into its commentary when it held a gimmicky contest in which it invited people of all stripes to try and become "America's Next Great Pundit." Of the 10 finalists picked to compete for a weekly Op-Ed column, five were women -- and two or three were even under 30. Ultimately, though, the winner was yet another white guy, Teach for America executive Kevin Huffman.
I shouldn't even have to make the case here for why diversity is important. Today's George Will column, which suggests that liberals only contact with Latinos involves their gardeners and waiters, would have only been more egregious if it included the line, "Hey, some of my best friends are Hispanic!" Yglesias points out that there are few voices at the Post to challenge Will on his views and assumptions. And now, that's more noticeable than ever:
Anyways, the Post has a snazzy new PostPolitics page that helps you swiftly summarize the fact that there don’t appear to be any Hispanic opinion writers at the paper who might be able to have a word or two with Will about this.
-- Monica Potts