National Review‘s Jim Geraghty offered an interesting observation the other day about the actual motivations behind the push for “diversity: in the media:
Back in my journalism pollywog days, I recall going to some gathering at the National Press Club where the Washington offices of most of the big news organizations were represented. They went around the room and introduced all of the bigwigs, and I noticed a clear pattern. The vast majority of the Washington bureau chiefs were older white men. (Considering the demographics of Washington-based political journalists in previous decades, this wasn’t surprising.) A decent number of institutions had deputy bureau chiefs who were women or African-American, Latino, etcetera. But the assembled rank-and-file reporters looked like a Benetton ad — with a fairly lopsided majority of young women, and quite a few of them were quite attractive.
The room made pretty clear the people who ran Washington political journalism had made an effort to diversify at every level . . . except the top. And this effort for diversity had created a lot of working environments where older men managed a lot of young women. Examined through the right lens, the “diversity” in the reporters in that room had all the diversity of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show: good looking young white women, good looking young black women, good looking young Latina women, good looking young Asian women . . .
Young guys can’t make an older straight man feel attractive. Yes, older men can find mentoring and managing young men valuable and rewarding, but when the boss is the other side of middle age and wondering if he’s still attractive or if his best days are behind him . . . a warm smile from us is not going to brighten his day the same way.
You’ll have to pardon my cynicism if I suspect that a certain portion of older men in leadership positions embraced “diversity” and “welcoming young women in the workplace” because they liked managing and being around young, attractive women. This doesn’t mean that every boss who hires a younger attractive woman is a letch or a harasser. But it does mean that attraction has been playing a factor in workplaces for a long time.
Which naturally put me in the frame of mind for this scene from Yes, Minister: