MONDAY, MARCH 8, 2021
One bombshell after another: Margaret Sullivan, the Washington Post's media columnist, delivered her assessment shortly before noon today.
Oprah proved she is greatest celebrity interviewer of all time. All journalists can learn from her.
It was "bombshell after bombshell," the media columnist said. Soon, she was describing an exchange between two high-end professors:
SULLIVAN (3/8/21): I was entertained by the admiring Twitter exchange Sunday night between two hard-nosed New York City journalism professors who are normally highly critical of the mainstream media.
“That was the best interview I have ever watched,” wrote New York University’s Jay Rosen.
“Great, but not quite Frost/Nixon level for me,” responded Bill Grueskin of Columbia University.
But David Frost’s televised grilling of the disgraced former president was back in 1977, so by this reckoning the royal interview might have been the best televised sit-down in the past four decades.
The hard-nosed New York City professors spilled over with admiration. As a result, the media columnist was entertained.
Was this "the best televised sit-down in the past four decades?"
We aren't entirely sure. For one thing, we didn't watch. Why did anyone else?
Our answer would go something like this. This is all they really want, the ranking elites in Our Town.
They want to perform their virtue for a while. After that, they want to sit down. They want to be entertained.
It was "bombshell after bombshell," Sullivan wrote. We thought about the millions of kids who attend our low-income schools.
We thought about the recent New York Times reports about the problem of "segregation" in New York City's public schools. We thought about the column the Washington Post published on Sunday—a column by a former Teach For America teacher in the Memphis schools.
We thought about all the good decent kids who attend our nation's "underperforming" schools. Those two professors, and the media columnist, will never—we repeat, will never—conduct discussions about the journalism surrounding the lives of those kids.
Oprah will never discuss those kids or the schools they attend. And no one will want her to.
We've been unimpressed with the Times' reporting about the Gotham schools. On balance, we think it misses the basic point in a stunning array of ways.
On balance, we were unimpressed by the (strikingly dogmatized) column in Sunday's Post, which seemed to have been written as a self-confession during the Cultural Revolution. We were struck by the scattershot nature of the letters about charter schools which appeared in this morning's Times.
That said, millions of kids attend those low-income schools. In truth, nobody gives a flying falafel about those kids—about their lives and their interests. There will be no discussion of them.
We the people like to perform, after which we like to be entertained. We like to tell ourselves the stories which make us feel tribally good.
This is the way we humans are wired, top major experts have told us. This pattern isn't going to change, disconsolate scholars now say.
Postponed: Maddow spots Joe Manchin's racism