The Lickspittles' Tale
Ask any reporter of my generation -- I got my first newspaper job in 1972 -- why he or she went into journalism and the answer is very likely to be: to change the world. Journalism was the default option if you didn't want to, or couldn't get into, law school, and it was viewed as a way to right wrongs by bringing them to public attention. It seemed a noble calling, and when shortly after I began my career Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein started breaking their Watergate stories, it was even better: doing the Lord's work, one front-page headline at a time.
How times have changed. Today's reporters may still think they're helping save both the human race and the planet, but the context is now completely different. Unlike the older reporters, who generally had majored in the liberal arts in college and often drifted accidentally into journalism, they've been schooled in it, and not just in journalism but in the entire panoply of contemporary Leftist issues, including environmentalism, feminism, and the moral rightness of the Democrat Party, which they view as the locomotive of the civil-rights movement and thus forever on the side of the angels. They are not just reporters out for a story; they are in service to a Cause.
Accordingly, the machinery of journalism (especially as the big-city dailies die, and senior staff are now too expensive to maintain) has been harnessed to serve the Cause, and the means by which the Cause is served is called the Narrative. The Narrative is the collection of policy tics we know as "social justice," a bastardization of real justice but now a potent force in the still half-formed minds of most of the young journalists. They would no more question it than, in prior decades, earlier generations would have questioned the existence of God, or the moral rightness of the American Way.
So today stories must no longer simply be interesting or informative, they must have a Larger Meaning, illustrating one or more of the Social Justice Warriors' obsessions. And the obsession that currently grips them -- many of whom gleefully indulged in the hookup culture of the 1990s and early 2000s, when they were in college -- is sex. Long gone are the days of Erica Jong, limning the joys of the "zipless fuck," and the other celebrants of sexual hedonism renamed "liberation." In their places have come the joyless drones of The Handmaid's Tale, an utterly predictable return to America's early Puritan roots after one too many nights at Plato's Retreat. No more liberated females, enjoying sex in the same way and with as much gusto as men do -- that was always a male fantasy in the first place, promulgated most notably by Hugh Hefner in the pages of Playboy -- but chattel sex slaves, in thrall to toxic masculinity.