Media is educated

Just not, you know, about anything more intellectually demanding than the fall season’s hit new [insert type of television show] on [insert television network]. And Instapundit snickered:

ATLAS SHRUGGED, HAYEK WEPT. And the rest of us are kind of snickering. “The reporter covering the tea parties for the New York Times appears to think that ‘the rule of law’ is some sort of exotic term of art invented by right wingers.” Remember, the people who can’t get this stuff right regard the electorate as their intellectual inferiors.

And apparently they don’t know the difference between S corps and C corps either.

An article on Wednesday about the business culture at the Tribune Company after its acquisition by Sam Zell referred incorrectly to federal taxes on an S corporation, which Tribune became after the deal. S corporations pay no federal taxes because shareholders are responsible for all taxes; therefore, taxpayers do not become “essentially silent partners in the deal.”

The problem isn’t that people who work in the media are stupid, although they don’t tend to be brilliant either. From what I’ve observed in nearly two decades of working tangentially with them, they tend to fall in the +1SD to +2SD range. But what makes them look so stupid on such a regular basis is that they are almost uniformly and grossly ignorant. This is direct result of their narrow educations combined with a complete lack of experience of the non-media world.

Like teachers, journalists don’t actually learn anything useful or broadly applicable as part of their professional training. It’s mostly a lot of jargon and industry-specific minutiae that the average individual could pick up within six months on the job; in fact, that’s exactly how the media used to learn to do its job. And since the nature of the job is so fast-paced, they have to learn how to sound informative while making do with very superficial knowledge. That’s why they so often confuse having heard of something with actually knowing something; they actually believe the two concepts are synonymous on a subconscious level.

Of course, the problem has only gotten worse as a generation of media whores have gone into the business with the objective of reading teleprompters on camera. And now that the other networks are following Fox’s lead by hiring journalists on the sole basis of their sex, hair color, and facial features, the downward spiral is approaching its nadir just in time for the industry’s final collapse.

It’s all good.