Normally I don't like to make fun of Columbia journalism students, because it's like shooting fish in a barrel — if the barrel were full of Columbia journalism students. And that would be wrong.
But when I saw this video, I couldn't resist. It features a panel of students yakking about how to get a job after graduation. In it, one student unleashes his inner Jay-Z, listing in all earnestness his many qualifications. Roll the tape, roll-tapers:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: I'll report with honesty,
Never print a fallacy,
Explain it all with clarity,
Active voice my policy,
I won't quote out of context,
Won't attribute sloppily,
Give credit to my sources,
And do my research properly.
Won't Jayson Blair my articles,
Won't Stephen Glass the story.
My writing will have currency,
Free from all dishonesty,
And when I'm wrong, I'll retract
Quickly and sincerely.
But if I'm right I will attack,
Never fail to hit back.
I'll rail against complacency,
Don't be scared of changing,
And utilize technology.
If I witness tragedy,
Record it for posterity,
But I will never lose touch
With my own humanity,
Get every side to speak.
But there's no need to hear crazy
Or create false sense of parity
Like Fox News and Hannity.
Tell me I'm a dreamer,
Tell me that I'm green,
Tell by my attitude that
I most definitely graduated from
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So, no surprise: The student raps benign pap that his profs would applaud, from railing against complacency, to never losing touch with "his humanity." But let me repeat the part the kid really wanted them to hear: "There's no need to hear crazy, or create a false sense of parity, like Fox news and Hannity."
And that's the point: When applying for a job, the student knows to regurgitate the shared assumptions of the elitists around him. In short, if you bash Fox News, you might land an internship picking up David Shuster's laundry.
Now, it wasn't a bad rhyme, but it was just a bad idea, emboldened by the present comfort of conformity and driven by a need to show everyone he holds the "right beliefs."
It's how sheep are made: these beliefs are cemented even before they enter a newsroom.
And what's the crux of these beliefs? That Fox News is evil. Which, to me, is pretty cool. I like being considered evil especially when those doing the considering are my future interns.
And if you disagree with me, then you're probably racist.