We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
John at Powerline speculates that journalists are dumber than the average bear. I think John overestimates the brains, curiosity, and skepticism of the average bear (tho maybe not of the average Powerline reader), but I do get the point: professional journalists are supposed to convey useful and accurate info for the rest of us, with enough of the inside baseball to help us understand the game that is being played.
Statistics, math and science tend to be among their weak points. It is easy to be a half-competent writer without understanding in depth what you are writing about. We prove that here, daily. However, we do try to link to those who might have a clue.
What worries me more is the power, ignorance, perfidy, and manipulativeness of politicians.
In general, I would agree that many journalists fit the “not so bright” category. The Powerline article is evidence of that. Here is an exception to that rule. Many of the best and brightest alumni from my high school went on to journalism careers, perhaps inspired by Woodward and Bernstein’s performance in Watergate. Two from my high school who pursued journalism careers were Merit Scholarship Finalists, and as their fathers were engineers, were not lacking in number sense. Arrogant perhaps, but not stupid.
I worked in TV news for 23-years. For the most part, news people are idiots, unable to reason, unable to understand the difference between facts and conclusions, and unable to think a rational thought.
Current case in point: I was scanning news articles from over the weekend concerning the recent Southwest Airlines incident, in which a piece of fuselage skin cracked open. The 'Christian Science Monitor' noted that the skin in question was 'one-third of an inch thick.' 'WTF?' I said to myself. A check of the National Transportation Safety Board website brought clarification: The fuselage skin in question is 0.032-in. thick. Lesson: Journalists (at least some journalists) can't even handle decimal notation.