Journalism is now dominated by highly educated elites who crusade about racial matters in order to generate outrage while protecting their own economic interests, says a US writer.
Newsweek magazine deputy opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon has a new book; Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy.
Note Ungar-Sargon is from the left and a widely published journalist herself.
The problem media is not “hyper focused” on finding solutions to the remaining areas in which systemic racism still exists, she says.
“What they have done is redefined what counts as racism to encompass an ever growing, metastasizing set of behaviours and things that you can’t really solve.
“I mean, they’ve convinced themselves that America’s DNA is racist, which means that it can never be fixed, right? Because you can’t change your DNA.”
This is a cop out, Ungar-Sargon says.
“Sociologists in America have tracked a shift in white liberal public opinion, to where white liberals are now more extreme in their views on race, and what counts as racism, than black and Latino Americans.”
White liberals are presuming to know best, she says.
We see this in NZ also.
“White liberals have taken the lead and shifted the discourse from dealing with the actual problems that the black community will tell you they have, to dealing with a set of things that are really very ephemeral, very academic in nature, and actually perpetuate the economic interests of those white liberal elites.”
Ungar-Sargon, who is a Marxist, says the book is a battle cry on behalf of the working class.
“I feel that white liberal elites have gotten very rich, and they’ve abandoned the working class.”
Journalists used to be working class and they saw their job as being outside of power looking in but are now part of the system, she says.
“They’re part of the elites, they go to the same colleges as billionaires, their children go to the same schools as politicians, they are now within the elites writing for other elites, creating content for other elites.”
That would be an interesting thing to look at in New Zealand – how many journalists come from a working class background?
The book is full of data, she says, that might make for some uncomfortable reading by liberals – something she experienced herself a few years back.
“It was a Yale study that found that there was a difference between how white liberals and how white conservatives talk to black and Latino Americans.
“And the difference was white liberals dumbed down their vocabulary, when they meet a black person and white conservatives don’t do this.
“I read this in 2018 and I thought, this is an indictment of my entire worldview. Because I immediately recognised myself and everyone I knew in that, and that impulse to dumb down your speech that comes from that generous place of like, we must help these people.”
The bigotry of low expectations!