During one or two of the rare interviews that Stanley Kubrick gave in his later years, he joked that there’s an old cliche among film critics that “When a director dies, he becomes a photographer,” a charge that he himself faced on one or two occasions. At Reason, responding to Helen Thomas’ self-inflicted “retirement” yesterday, Matt Welch writes that when an “objective” journalist dies, he becomes a bad op-ed columnist:
For these and other reasons, when straight reporters transition to opinion journalism, one of the first things to go is the “journalism” part of it. Now they can say what they really feel, dammit, and what they really feel is that the Bad Guys are preventing us from Fixing Problems. There’s no longer any need to grok the Bad Guy’s point of view. Think of what happened to longtime Associated Press/CNN reporter Peter Arnett, for example, or just read the latest political musings from the once-straight war correspondent Chris Hedges. I saw this process repeatedly at the L.A. Times, when newsroom lifers would tranfer to the Opinion Dept. and immediately begin producing pieces that sounded like an activist’s fundraising letter, caricutarizing the opposing side’s absolutely worst argument.
Not to mention literally doing fundraisers for leftwing causes on occasion.
(H/T: The Other McCain)