From Arts & Letters Daily:
The Weekly Standard: The Media Builds a Monument to Itself
Still, I prefer to think of all that the Newseum embodies--the sanctimony, the constitutional preening, the bogus intimations of danger, the religious veneration of saints and their relics--as a defense mechanism. Journalism, seen plain, is not a terribly impressive line of work. Some people do things, other people watch people do things. The news business is for people of the second sort. It's a grubby game. What do journalists do? They call people on the phone, they ask questions, they talk, they type, they read newspapers and magazines and boring government documents, they type some more, they go to one place or another to look at something or other, they jot in their notebooks, they type some more, they think a little, they pause for a minute to sip coffee before they go back to typing. The dough's not very good. The hours are erratic. Most of your colleagues are slobs. You'll never have a proper office unless you become an editor. Your fellow citizens assume you're an arrogant ass.
We should be forgiven if, in compensation, we exaggerate our own importance. We daydream: If this not-very-interesting trade can be elevated into a profession, made to seem dangerous and profound, a delicate flower of the timeless principles of self-government, blessed by patron saints like Cronkite and Murrow and even Thomas Jefferson, then maybe we're not in such a grubby business after all.
These two need to be read in order:
Los Angeles Times: Men Who Explain Things
Men explain things to me, and to other women, whether or not they know what they're talking about. Some men. Every woman knows what I mean. It's the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men's unsupported overconfidence.
This syndrome is something nearly every woman faces every day, within herself too, a belief in her superfluity, an invitation to silence, one from which a fairly nice career as a writer (with a lot of research and facts correctly deployed) has not entirely freed me. After all, there was a moment there when I was willing to believe Mr. Very Important and his overweening confidence over my more shaky certainty.
And in an "Only Nixon Could Go to China"-esque response we have:
AdviceGoddess.com: Rebecca Solnit Is A Sniveling Idiot
Of course, the difference is that women in Muslim countries are not, by law, allowed to testify. Western women like Solnit simply refrain from speaking up. Some loudmouth cut her off? Wow. While Muslim women fear lashings and death if they speak their minds, Solnit's simply too limp-willed to say, as I've said numerous times, and to men and women, "Don't interrupt!" or "My turn to talk!"
When that doesn't work, as it didn't when I was on the TV show, "Faith Under Fire," with the booming blowhard Frank Pastore, I began removing my mike, and told the host I was going to walk off if Pastore kept shouting over me. (I may not have been born with balls, but I keep a little set in my makeup bag, and bring them out on an as-needed basis.)