TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2003
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE CHILDRENS HOUR: Were going to offer some closing comments on Hanna Rosins stunning column from yesterdays Post (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/7/03). In her piece, Rosin said that many young journalists worshipped the late Michael Kelly as a hero. As we noted yesterday, we think Rosins comment, if true, is stunning. Our jaws hung open all day long as we pondered what Rosin had said.
As we said yesterday, Kelly may have been a nice man to work forbut he was a terrible journalist. It was bad enough that young mainstream scribes said nothing about his work when he lived. But if they really regarded him as a hero, the values of the modern press are worse than even we had imagined. We can only hope that Rosin was spinningoffering up the latest bullroar to serve the interests of her own career.
Meanwhile, a point we didnt stress enough: Dont ignore the role of that sprawling house by the sea with the wraparound porch which popped up in Rosins column. We dont have the slightest idea why individual scribes think or act as they do. But as a group, young scribes know that extremely rich material rewards now await those who do well in their profession. And young scribes know another thing too: They know that those wraparound porches go to those who dont challenge the conduct of the insider press corps. Almost surely, that explains why many young scribes have so little to say about their own cohorts frequent misconduct. As we have noted many times in the past, many bright young scribes do excellent work on policy mattersbut are strangely silent when it comes to the work of the press. They said nothing about the borking of Goreand they said nothing about Michael Kellys excesses. (Did you ever see them challenge Chris Matthews?) Now they tell us that Kelly was a hero. Guess what? Some day, such scribes will have wraparound porches of their own, on the side of their own sprawling houses.
We were stunned all day by Rosins column. If her statements are true, things in the press corps are worsefar worsethan even we had ever dared imagine.
FISHER: In class, Kaplowitz tried to be true to Teach for Americas goal of high standards and expectations. He tested his students regularly and found almost all of them to be at least one and often two grades behind in basic skills.In context, were supposed to be shocked that these fifth grade kids are so far behind traditional grade level. In fact, if the rest of Fishers article is even vaguely accurate, its highly unlikely that these fifth grade students were reading at third- and fourth-grade level. Almost surely, the situation was worse than Kaplowitz knew. More on this at the end of the weekbut read this piece, and ponder a place Steinbeck might have described as our own forgotten village.