It was said of James II, a very foolish man, that you only had to talk to him to realize why he was in exile instead of sitting on his throne in England.
You only have to read former New York Times managing editor Gerald Boyd’s astonishingly egotistical piece on journalists to realize why he was so arrogant that he lost his job over the Jayson Blair fiasco.
Boyd’s piece is headlined “Inside the Journalist’s Head“–but it should be “Inside the Big Head of a Journalist.”
“Most journalists are insecure,” writes Boyd. “They are not born that way, but are made apprehensive by the reality that thousands and even millions of readers, viewers and listeners constantly scrutinize their work. For them, this creates a kind of torture, which they experience in performing their craft. Most believe what they present is accurate, but they live in fear of someone punching holes in it.
“Paradoxically,” he continues, “most journalists are arrogant. Again, they are not born that way. But arrogance takes hold because journalists have information, and information is power. They are allowed front-row seats to news events and important people, and thus they see more and know more than others. For even the most humble, this can become intoxicating.”
Oh, and here’s the clincher:
“In a free society, journalists are a necessary burden. I’m not suggesting that you marry one or even have one over for dinner. But you should understand what makes them tick, warts and all. After all, they are not going away anytime soon, nor will the need for them.”
As Dorothy Parker once wrote in her Constant Reader column, “Tonstant Weader frowed up…”