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Works and Days

More Political-Correctness—Another exchange with the Monterey Herald

November 25th, 2008 - 8:24 pm

Last Time Around

In September, I complained about the lack of journalistic standards shown by the Monterey  County Herald. They never acknowledged the reply, much less offered a retraction for their incorrect factual allegations about what I wrote.

Now they once again are citing something I offered in the most recent PM posting about 10 politically-incorrect reasons to be depressed.
(http://www.montereyherald.com/opinion/ci_11069229).

I think a reply will only confirm the validity of my original essay, and shed light on contemporary problems in both journalism and the university as outlined in the posting. Call the following a “teachable moment.” So here we go again (my comments follow theirs in parentheses).

Our second favorite conservative columnist, Victor Davis Hanson, chooses an odd list of examples as part of a fresh column trumpeting his political incorrectness and grousing about what has gone wrong in our fair state. Comparing the good old days of Gov. Pat Brown’s to rotten more recent times, Hanson writes of things that would “make our forefathers weep.”

He lists, with cryptic lack of elaboration, a walk through downtown San Francisco, a stroll along Fresno’s main street, an afternoon at the Los Angeles airport, a visit to the park in the small San Joaquin Valley town of Parlier and “a glance at the catalogue of Cal State Monterey.”

One imagines Hanson is channeling a 10-year-old column by our favorite conservative columnist, George Will, in which he famously lamented the over-the-top political correctness of CSU-Monterey Bay.

(“cryptic lack of elaboration”?–the essay was a reflection on ten things that had gotten worse, and was a blog that already had run to 1700 words. I have no control whether other sites such as realclearpolitics, instapundit, or powerlineblog choose to run it. It was not a formal column, but a long reflection.

1) I think most Californians who walk in downtown 2008 San Francisco and compare it to what it was like 20, 30, or 40 years ago would be depressed.

2) I suggest the editors go down the Fresno mall and ask seniors what in comparison it was like when it opened in the early 1960s.

3) Does anyone think flying in and out of LAX is a normal air-travel experience?

4) I suggest the editor picnic in the public park in Parlier.

5) Now we hit home with CSU Monterey Bay.

I have never read, as the Herald alleges, a 10-year-old column by George Will; but as a 20-year veteran and emeritus professor of the CSU system, I suggest I am more familiar with the campus, now and when it opened, than Will, insightful though he probably was.

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