William F. Buckley, Jr., said that he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 members of the Harvard faculty. Batya Ungar-Sargon is as dubious about eminent journalists as Buckley was about eminent professors. In Bad News: How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy, she concludes that the problem lies with journalists’ attempts to ignore and discredit the vox populi. Journalism has become an alien concept and only occasionally do writers get caught in a random act of reporting.

The deputy opinion editor of Newsweek, Ungar-Sargon notes that journalists did not used to be members of an elite. In fact, “journalism was a high working-class job, more a blue-collar trade than a profession.” Despite starring Cary Grant as a newspaper editor, the 1940 Howard Hawks film His Girl Friday portrays journalism as fierce and frenzied, rather than cool in either sense of the term.

But with the “rise of John F. Kennedy” and cultural impact of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, both of whom had dabbled in journalism, the industry began to change. By the time the movie All the President’s Men was released in 1976, every journalist was striving to be Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, and the profession itself appeared to be noble and glamorous. In Hollywood’s perverse

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