The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Quota-Mongers Never Satisfied

Posted on | February 25, 2014 | 26 Comments

Nose-counting diversity fetishists:

On Wednesday, the Women’s Media Center released its annual Status of Women in U.S. Media Report, which tracks how many women are being hired, seen, and heard in American journalism and entertainment. . . .
According to the report, women made up 36.3 percent of newsroom staffers atAmerican newspapers in 2013, a figure that’s decreased slightly since the American Society of Newspaper Editors Newsroom Census started its gender count in 1999. They made up just 27 percent of opinion columnists in the major U.S. newspapers andcontent syndication services last year.

Let’s expose the hidden premises of this familiar liberal syllogism:

  1. If women are less than 50% of employees in any profession, the only explanation is sexist discrimination.
  2. Working as a journalist is a career opportunity that women seek out as often as do men.
  3. It is not possible that women are rejecting journalism, rather than the other way around.

The false premises of “diversity” arguments are something I’ve grown tired of noticing, much less refuting. Many years ago, the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) began featuring panel discussions at their annual conventions on how to promote “diversity” in newsrooms. This was never really the main problem in the industry, and the ASNE should have had annual panel discussions like, “How Can Newspapers Stop Losing Subscribers and Advertisers, Bleeding Red Ink, and Being Forced to Lay Off Reporters?”

For the benefit of ASNE douchebags or anyone else who cares, let me clue you in on a “secret” that should be obvious to anyone with a lick of common sense: The same basic aptitude necessary to be a newspaper reporter — i.e., skill in verbal reasoning and written communication — is also an aptitude highly valued in the legal profession.

If a young person has very high SAT scores in this area, why would they want to pursue a crappy low-paying career as a reporter, when they could go to law school and get rich?

If there is any shortage of females or ethnic minorities in America’s newsrooms, this can be explained to a great extent by affirmative action programs at America’s law schools. Imagine — just as a hypothetical — that some random jug-eared kid from Hawaii whose father happened to be Kenyan had a choice between (a) going to work at a newspaper, or (b) attending Harvard Law.

We might wish he would have pursued journalism, but . . .

Just as a kicker, there’s this:

 In the 100 most profitable films released in 2012, only 28.4 percent of speaking characters were women, the lowest percentage registered in the five years that the USC Annenberg School has been counting them up. (Women were also disproportionately portrayed as children and teenagers compared to men.) And behind the scenes, women’s representation hasn’t increased in 15 years—they made up 16 percent of writers, directors, editors, and producers in the 250 top domestic-grossing films in 2013, compared to 17 percent in 1998. From 1998 to 2013, the percentage of female film writers dropped from 13 percent to 10; the percentage of female directors dropped from 9 to 6.

Hollywood’s War on Women!



26 Responses to “Quota-Mongers Never Satisfied”

  1. RS
    February 25th, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    Well over half of the current crop of college students are female. Perhaps, their Womyn’s Studies advisers could direct them into courses in television production instead of, oh say, “Accessorizing You Flannel Shirts And Red Wings: Dress For Success At The Après-Softball Social.”


  2. texlovera
    February 25th, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

    There is only ONE type of blatant discrimination going on in newsrooms, and that is against those with conservative views.


    So eff off, douchebags.

  3. RKae
    February 25th, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

    “In the 100 most profitable films released in 2012…”
    Hmmm… I wonder if there was a higher percentage of women involved in the LEAST profitable films? And, if so, I wonder what that says?

  4. Art Deco
    February 25th, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

    They made up just 27 percent of opinion columnists in the major U.S. newspapers andcontent syndication services last year.

    The late Joan Beck was assigned to write opinion columns for the Chicago Sun-Times late in her career. She was one of the more engaging in that trade at that time. Michelle Malkin is stylistically very different, but among our more capable opinion mongers. Maureen Dowd can be amusing on occasion (see her column comparing the Clintons to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo). However, most of the dames employed in that trade (remember Dowd’s wretched predecessor, Anna Quindlen, or Ellen Goodman?) seem like diversity hires.

  5. Bozikek
    February 25th, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

    A blind man could see this in a minute(why not a blind women?!?!) -ed). Women are not as attracted as men to high risk positions, Journalism is now a very high risk field.

  6. Art Deco
    February 25th, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

    Here’s a brain squeezer.

    One of the most capable opinion mongers writing today is Megan McArdle (now with Bloomberg, after stints at The Atlantic and The Economist. She has some academic and practical background in her subjects, is not strongly aligned one way or another, is principled in her expositions, and is seldom obnoxious. Yet, there are several sites devoted to tracking her posts and denouncing her. One site has been up and running for four or five years. I’ve not seen this with regard to anyone else in the opinion trade.

  7. Art Deco
    February 25th, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

    I used to work for an institution which had a ‘women’s studies program’. They did not have a department, but they had a salaried program staff (really just one person), dedicated space in a prime location, and north of 30 professors who had signed on as ‘corresponding faculty’ (some of whose courses were cross listed ‘WMST”). That particular institution used to hand out shy of 700 diplomas a year, split about 50-50 between men and women. The number of ‘women’s studies’ majors averaged about two (2) per year. (By the way, that average is derived from a measure of 16 graduating classes).

  8. Nan
    February 25th, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

    The problem must be that she’s a woman. Couldn’t possibly be that she’s knowledgable and unbiased. Oh, and clearly she needs to develop her obnoxiousness to have credibility.

  9. RS
    February 25th, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

    When I was in college–not that long ago, FWIW–such things did not occupy space in the course catalog. Since then, the Humanities have been balkanized to the extent that they’ve lost sight of the primary focus of inquiry: The Human Condition. The Humanities and liberal arts have been severely cheapened in the process, and I write that as one with eight years of literature and philosophy under my belt.

  10. M. Thompson
    February 25th, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    Over at CDR Salamander, it’s a weekly thing to castigate the DoD’s (D)iversity Bullies. It needs to be bigger.

  11. Finrod Felagund
    February 25th, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

    I’ll bet $20 that in the 100 most profitable porn films of 2012 there were more than 50 percent women.

  12. Art Deco
    February 25th, 2014 @ 2:21 pm

    Dunno. One of the sites denouncing her is a group blog (of chaps, as far as I can see), one of whom signed himself “NutellaOnToast”. Another professes to be female “Susan of Texas”. It’s a strange obsession.

  13. Art Deco
    February 25th, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

    There are the same humanities departments there you might have seen 70 years ago (though perhaps not 100 years ago): philosophy, comparative religion, English, sundry foreign languages, &c., just with these victimology programs appended. Their presence there is a supply-side phenomenon (as the numbers tell you).

  14. Adjoran
    February 25th, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

    The joke’s on them if they went to law school to get rich. There is a glut of lawyers in the US today, only the top graduates can land work at private firms (the kind which pays well), most of the rest can’t find anything in the profession, and those that can are usually working as paralegals.

    The simple fact is that in school and in life, women tend to choose career tracks that are unlike those favored by men. There are far fewer women in math and sciences and engineering, but not for lack of recruitment. And you don’t see nearly as many men going into social work.

    I would draw a conclusion, but I saw what happened to Larry Summers, and I’d prefer to keep both of mine.

  15. RS
    February 25th, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

    There are the same humanities departments there you might have seen 70 years ago

    I’m not that old. 🙂

  16. Quartermaster
    February 25th, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

    Summers lost his because of cowardice, not because “they” took them.

  17. Quartermaster
    February 25th, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

    You have to wade through so much sludge to get to the good ones that it isn’t worth the effort to read MoDo. She’s a bitter spinster and it shows in her writing.

  18. Michael
    February 25th, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

    …Nose-counting diversity fetishists….

    – Henry Waxman

  19. Quartermaster
    February 25th, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

    I denounce you for noticing. OTOH, do you have personal knowledge of the female content of such movies?

  20. Michael
    February 25th, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

    Yes, but the article says that they are counting speaking characters. I’m not sure how many words are spoken by performers in that type of movie, and I think it’s physically impossible for some of them to do so while on screen, IYKWIM.

  21. Dai Alanye
    February 25th, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

    Here’s an authoritative opinion (mine) applicable to small newspapers:
    For about a decade my wife was head editor of a string of weeklies. Half of the editors and more than half of editorial staff were women, composition were all women, and the press room more than half. Men only dominated positions such as sports reporting, mechanic and upper management.

    Why is this? Because men wouldn’t work for the lousy pay.

    I notice I lied in one regard. Upper management was also half female. It consisted of the owner, the owner’s wife, the owner’s son and the son’s wife.

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  24. Bob Belvedere
    February 25th, 2014 @ 9:14 pm

    It’s always been high risk, although the reasons have changed.

  25. Bob Belvedere
    February 25th, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

    Imagine — just as a hypothetical — that some random jug-eared kid from Hawaii whose father happened to be a Chicago Communist and pornographer

    FTFY, Breeze.

  26. Adjoran
    February 26th, 2014 @ 2:30 am

    Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for women in media, Tommy Christopher gets fired.