Wednesday, November 15, 2006

YOU WERE THE BEST QUALIFIED... BUT THEY HAD TO GIVE YOUR AMERICAN BEAUTY REVIEW TO A MINORITY BECAUSE OF A RACIAL QUOTA! Fans of the Wingnut Diversity Paradox -- in which a.) complaints about all those fruity liberals with their quotas and their rainbows, and b.) demands that colleges or newspapers or Hollywood make some right-wing affirmative action hires pronto, exist within the same cramped mental space -- can find a ripe new version at the Crunchy Con blog.

Brother Dreher provides an update that suggests a fleeting moment of self-awareness--
You may be thinking, "So what does he want? He's complaining because the Times is not hiring more conservatives on its op-ed page for the sake of diversity, at the same time he's complaining about newsrooms hiring for diversity? How does that make sense?" Let me try to explain.
--and then he uncorks an illustrative example that, I must admit, widened even my gimlet eye:
In my own case, about a decade ago I applied for a film critic's position at a particular newspaper, was told by the arts editor that he loved my writing, and wanted to hire me. He called back later and sheepishly told me he couldn't bring me in for an interview, because his boss told him they wanted to hire a woman or a minority... The only reason for this was because I am a white male... The idea that no matter how hard I worked to write well, I couldn't overcome this bias against me because of the color of my skin and my gender was debilitating...
Cut to Dreher's hands crumpling his rejection letter.

Having suffered through Dreher's reviews in the paper that did hire his white ass -- the New York Post -- I think it altogether likely that the other editor was too polite to tell Dreher that his writing blew, and made up an affirmative-action yarn knowing that the excitable Southron would believe such a thing.

May Dreher never come to the soul-shattering realization that his whole career, cossetted by conservative editors and publishers, is an epic example of affirmative action in the old-fashioned style.

UPDATE. In comments, Dreher denies a critic's charge that "women and minorities are underrepresented in large, daily newsrooms" -- though later he seems to admit he was only talking about the "women" part ("I've never seen a figure about the ethnic minority representation in our newsroom," says Dreher -- I never before realized that he was physically blind). Dreher also denies that he was hired because of his wingnut bonafides, though "If I had been hired as a conservative, that would have been fine with me."

He also says David Brooks is his favorite Times writer because of Brooks' "interesting and unconventional conclusions." Oh, but this is the bestest bit of all:
Kristof is a brave and intrepid reporter, but how many times can you write, "Life is wretched in the Third World"? That sounds harsh, and I apologize for that, but I guess I have to admit I used to consider him a must-read, but now I think, "Here we go, another tale of woe from the Third World."
I might just decide to be a Jesus Freak myself. You don't have to give a shit about anyone but yourself, apparently, and they feed you really well.

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