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Affirmative Action for Conservative at the Philadelphia Inquirer

By Matthew Yglesias

"Affirmative Action for Conservative at the Philadelphia Inquirer"

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The Philadelphia Inquirer explains why it hired war criminal John Yoo as a columnist:

“There was a conscious effort on our part to counter some of the criticism of The Inquirer as being a knee-jerk liberal publication,” Mr. Jackson said. “We made a conscious effort to add some conservative voices to our mix.”

Mission accomplished!

A lot of people I’ve interacted with in the newspaper industry seem a bit taken aback that some nice, decent, reasonable liberal people aren’t actually all that sympathetic to their plight. But this right here is the rub. Some 30-40 years ago, the mainstream media came under sustained attack from the conservative movement. The critique was that, basically, the press should compromise its mission of doing its best to tell the truth and instead give equal rate to the truth and to whatever the conservative movement wanted to convince people of on any given day. Virtually every institution decided that the best way to cope was to slowly but surely give in to that pressure.

Meanwhile, technological change has undermined the financial viability of a lot of these institutions. And now they’re feeling sorry for themselves. But the very same changes open up possibilities for new institutions—institutions that are not as compromised by decades-worth of burning their own credibility—to do amazing work. On balance, I’m excited about the new era.

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