Why Are Some Journalists Acting Like Snowflakes?

While covering the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell got shot through the neck by a sniper. After his book on motorcycle gangs was published, Hunter S. Thompson was viciously beaten by the Hell’s Angels. In 2011, Lara Logan of CBS was sexually assaulted and nearly scalped while reporting in Egypt.

And NBC’s Katy Tur got called a name by Donald Trump.

What has happened to journalists? Once a profession where danger was fairly common, from life-threatening nature to physical assault from enemies, it’s increasingly becoming a safe space where Ivy League graduates can implode from microagressions, kvetch constantly about minor scrapes, and have public meltdowns on Twitter. During an interview on the Today show, Tur, who is hawking a new memoir, reveals the trauma she endured when candidate Donald Trump called her “little Katy Tur” and said she was dishonest. “Well, that is in the book,” Tur ominously said, “and you can go back and read exactly what it felt like in that moment. It was jarring, it was scary, and it was one of those feelings that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake.”

Not exactly Hemingway getting hit with a mortar in World War I. It’s not even Watergate, when Attorney General John Mitchell, irritated by the reporting in the Washington Post, made the following boorish remark about publisher Katharine Graham: “All that crap, you’re putting it in the paper? It’s all been denied. Katie Graham is gonna get her t*t caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published.” Graham laughed, ignored Mitchell, and published the story. She didn’t need counseling.

Still, Watergate made journalism glamorous, and rather than a working-class profession it became an elite, Ivy League career. The result is a fourth estate that’s grown increasingly hypersensitive. In the age of Trump, when Americans need reporters who can do their work with a steady hand and have the patience to investigate genuine problems in the government, this serves to make the media more and more irrelevant. They’ve become the neighbor who calls the cops on a noisy neighbor while a tornado tears through the center of town.

A recent issue of Bethesda magazine reveals the extent of the problem. Bethesda is named for the Washington suburb that is home to some of the Washington, D.C. area’s most expensive real estate and the well-connected people who own it, including many journalists. Yet the way they are described by reporter Steve Goldstein, it could be Afghanistan:

One morning this past February, Olivier Knox, a veteran Washington reporter who covers the White House for Yahoo News, was driving his 11-year-old son to the YMCA. It was a few days after President Donald Trump referred to the news media as “the enemy of the American people” on Twitter. His son looked troubled. “Dad,” he asked, “is it true that Donald Trump called reporters his enemies?” Knox nodded yes. “Are you going to be safe at work?” the boy asked. 

Upset, Knox tried to reassure his son. “It was a gut punch,” he recalls. “It was a really hard thing.”

Knox lives in Bethesda, as does NPR correspondent David Welna, also quoted in the piece. “It’s kind of the best of times, worst of times,” Welna mourns. “Best because it’s a great story. Worst because there’s a sense that journalism is under attack.” At a party for journalists in March organized by Mary Louise Kelly of NPR, Goldstein reports, “Trump’s antagonistic stance toward the press was the chief topic of conversation.” “We were licking our wounds,” said Welna. Poor baby.

Lest you think this was all a liberal bedwetting session, conservative writer George Will chimes in. “Every administration has grievances with the press,” he says. “Few administrations, if ever, have so enthusiastically embraced the idea of treating the press as an adversary and as a monolithic unit.” Will, we are told, lives in Chevy Chase Village. It’s one of the wealthiest neighborhoods not only in D.C., but in America.

And so on and so on. From the Post to the Times, from NBC to CBS and ABC, the complaining goes on and on. Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker, who covered the Trump campaign for The New York Times, told Bethesda she’s never experienced “that level of mass hostility” in crowds before. “By the end of the campaign, the [Trump] crowd was primed to boo and hiss as soon as we entered the hall,” she said.

Booing and hissing! Can you imagine? It’s almost like these people entered a profession that involves conflict.

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35 responses to “Why Are Some Journalists Acting Like Snowflakes?

  1. If only most ‘journalists’ weren’t incompetent, lazy, lying, entitled, sleazebags, I might feel a bit sorry for them….. maybe….. ok, not really.

  2. “While covering the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell”

    Que? Orwell was a volunteer soldier for the POUM Militia, an active participant.
    He wrote a book about it later.
    How is that journalism?

    But what Orwell did was closer to journalism than whatever the heck Hunter S. Thompson was doing.

    1. He accurately reported on what was done; and on what others said they did. Lots of great writing is still reporting, even if it’s not for news articles of the time.

      And “gonzo journalism” is what Thompson was doing — an excellent definition. Also often a participant.

  3. One more of the many revealing articles on our media class and well put. They claim to wonder why so many mock or dismiss, even hate them. As long as they live in sheltered like-minded spheres they’ll only learn to not learn and further alienate themselves. We should have no expectations to the contrary.
    One point I would disagree with you is what seems the ever typical disclaimer: “In the age of Trump” etc. I think it’s possible even you may have been affected by snowflake media, this isn’t HitlerII or anyone close to circumventing our Constitution. This isn’t Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. This is a man and his Administration who can’t speak a word without being ‘investigated’ smeared and found guilty.

  4. I read with interest until you claimed George Will is a conservative. George Will is not a conservative. He is on the right wing of the far left wing.

    He should stick to writing baseball anecdotes and perfecting the tying of his pretentious little bow tie.

  5. A favorite trope of reporters these days is the wise child. Normally the child is around eight or nine and saying exactly what the adult thinks is true. I see Oliver Knox’s son is a little older at 11

  6. Wimpy, whining, mostly white snowflakes — and dishonest. But they seem to believe the untruths they tell themselves constantly.
    Lying to themselves.

    Whenever Trump has a Press Conference, most of them should be in a section with a sign: Fake News Snowflakes.

  7. Brilliant, apart from the fact that Orwell was FIGHTING in the Spanish civil war, not writing for a newspaper.

    1. And Hemingway was driving an ambulance when that mortar struck; he wasn’t yet but eventually would be a war correspondent who went into the thick of it. As his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, would also do.

  8. Hey Media, you are the enemy. Deal with it. Get over it. Or maybe change your ways, grow up, and become adults.

      1. Tom, I know but I think they should get one more chance. Okay. Time’s up. Ride right through them and cut them down.

  9. “there’s a sense that journalism is under attack”
    Well totalitarian regimes have had to threaten reporters to get them to do what you scum do for free. You people ARE the enemy. By your own choice. Stop pretending like your surprised.

  10. Gut punch, omg. Your son is 11, you could have given him an explanation about how you and your ilk hate the president and publish lies about him daily. He would have understood.

  11. The media really is a separate class, made up for the most part, by beta-males, low-T types and people who were hall-monitors back in grade school.
    In short, D*cks.

    1. The modern world really has empowered people that otherwise would be ignored. Leftism really is an ideology full of people that hate the country and normal people because they can’t get over the jocks getting the girl in HS.

      1. Now they use the jocks to get what they want, in a “we’ll hang the last capitalist with the rope he sells us” kind of way.

    2. Are you saying the stereotypical school jocks are the opposite of the media types? It seems both grew up to screw over the “normal” kids together.

  12. When Democrats attack the finance industry, the energy industry, and the pharmaceuticals industry, the press amplify their attacks with glee. Trump is attacking the corporate media industry, just as the Democrats went after those others, and the press doesn’t think it is so funny. But it is no different. Nobody seems to worry that an oil executive or a banker might have his or her feelings hurt, and the same should apply here.

    1. Journalists need to STFU. They’re lucky it’s just mean words. If they keep it up that’s going to change.

  13. They should try to go to an “antifa” protest and try to videotape the event. They should continue going there until they figure out who us truly dangerous.

  14. Delete this totally disingenuous garbage article. Getting shot through the neck by a sniper, being viciously beaten by gangs, or getting sexually assaulted and nearly scalped while reporting … these are not typical, everyday, on-the-job risks that journalists normally face, so don’t pretend they are.

    Katy Tur got more than called a name. Trump obsessed over her and hounded her. She got death threats from Trump fans. Secret Service agents approached her and had to escort her to her car. NBC eventually assigned a private security detail to her due to the threats. Getting called names by presidential candidates is not acceptable behavior (even though it’s not all that bad). It’s just very bizarre.

    Yes, journalists need to get tough, have thick skin, quit being snowflakes, and stop making a big deal out of nonissues and political correctness. But their pointing out negative opinions and attacks against them is a valid thing to do.

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