No one who has lived through the last forty years can be surprised when a New York Times reporter reveals his contempt for those who don’t share his cultural biases; especially, against those like me who live in the “middle places.” But when Times reporter David Carr blurted out that “middle places” like Kansas and Missouri are the land of “the low-sloping foreheads,” even the jaded took notice. Ed Driscoll has a good roundup on Pajamas Media. Carr’s moment of truth occurred on Bill Maher’s repellent television show; here is the video:
Carr is an interesting case. He is from Minnesota. It is not clear whether Minnesota is part of the land of the low-sloping foreheads or not; perhaps we are too far north. The subject that gave rise to Carr’s insult was Chris Christie’s supposedly ill effect on New Jersey’s wonderful system of public education. Certainly average SAT and ACT scores do not support any claim of superiority for New Jersey’s education system over those in the “middle places.” (Bear in mind that the principal variable in such averages is the percentage of students in any state who take the test.)
David Carr is a former drug addict who wrote a memoir about his comeback from the lowest depths to which a human being can sink. One might think that such experiences would generate a certain humility toward the unhip; in this case, apparently not. This is Carr writing about his own role as a journalist; or, if you will, a pretend journalist:
Even the most tradition-bound journalists would concede that while watching the world spin, they like to nudge it every once in a while. Why, after all, would someone spend their professional life enmeshed in the civic conversation unless they had a stake in it somewhere? But what is emerging is more of a permanent crusade, where information is not only power, but a means to a specific end.
As content providers increasingly hack their own route to an audience, it’s becoming clear that many are less interested in covering the game than tilting the field.
Just kidding. Carr was describing–or thought he was, anyway–Andrew Breitbart and Tucker Carlson (!). But everyone knows that the New York Times, as much as any media organization, is “less interested in covering the game than tilting the field.”
In today’s media world, things happen fast. Carr has already apologized for his moment of truth:
nytimes David Carr @carr2N says:”Middle Places” Home Of “Low-Sloping Foreheads” on Bill Maher.
carr2n replies: yep. Stuck in the naughty corner for the foreseeable future. #MyBad
Is it possible to judge sincerity on Twitter? If so, judge for yourself.