Conservative wanted

The AJC is holding a contest to find a conservative columnist.  It’s an odd way to hire a staffer.  But maybe this makes sense.

– Once Jim Wooten starts to fade away, there will be no more skilled conservative writers left on the staff of the AJC.  The purges of the last few years have eliminated any likely candidates.  Not a single qualified conservative writer left?  Yow.

– The new columnist will actually be on the staff of the AJC, according to its online criteria form.  One often saw Jim Wooten and Jay Bookman stalking the legislature for material.  The new guy / gal will do the same thing, and will have a seat on the AJC editorial board.

– Desperate for a hint of excitement surrounding a newspaper that has largely become a day-late reprint of the New York Times, the AJC sees its contest as a way to engage its increasingly skeptical readership.  Can an American Idol -style contest produce the next George F. Will?  Why not, right?

It’s worth noting that the online criteria form says that it’s “preferred” that the winning candidate have a bachelor degree eg. a college education.  Perhaps this is the wave of the future, and a nod to the past:  Walter Cronkite never graduated from college.  Neither did Ralph McGill.  The online criteria also says nothing about having a background in journalism.  Opinionmongers like Limbaugh and Boortz, we’re sure, would say:  Who needs that?

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Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

8 thoughts on “Conservative wanted

  1. thePhantom

    When I read this in the Sunday Paper, I laughed so hard my wife came over to see what was wrong. Seriously, what sane person with any conservative (or moderate) leanings would want to work at the AJC? They haven’t had any objectivity in years, which is why I and many others have stopped getting the subscription. I’m all for differing viewpoints that I don’t agree with, but the AJC seems to be playing the same record (EVERYTHING is Bush’s fault, Republicans should be scorned, Whites are the cause of every ill in America {Cynthia Tucker}, Georgia Power is evil, Obama is the 2nd coming, Illegal immigrants are the greatest thing since sliced bread…). Did I miss any of their usual subjects?

    Yes, you can rightfully argue that the internet has seriously eroded their circulation, but their lack of balance doesn’t help it any.

    Many older people are conservative. Many older people don’t like “them dang computers”, and love the feel of paper in their hands while they drink their coffee (be it decaf or regular). So they have a customer base who would like to get A newspaper, but they don’t like what the AJC puts inside the newspaper. And with Wooten leaving, this is a last-ditch attempt to try to maintain some of that readership base. I am really surprised the guy lasted as long as he has. Good for him for getting out of that sinking ship.

    May the AJC fail as soon as possible. I’ll miss my Sunday coupons, but it would be worth it.

    Reply
  2. daryll

    Newspapers are doomed to the ash heap of history just like the eight track tape and the rotary dial phone. However, older readers with lots of time on their hands will certainly disagree. Once you take the iPhone or Blackberry plunge, a newspaper is just another relic for digesting dated material. I want news on my timetable. As to the editorial content, I think the op-ed page editors are too obtuse to see their bias. The circulation managers can’t be so blind to the decline of subscribers or box sales. The stockholders certainly aren’t.

    Reply
  3. gooberpeas

    no conservative editors left?…and they wonder why the paper is going bust!

    but like all good liberals, they cannot see that they are the problem….in their eyes it’s the “uneducated” masses that are at fault, us poor slobs that are conservative only because we haven’t yet been “enlghtened”.

    Reply
  4. Brad Clontz

    Phantom, looks like you’re just the guy to tell AJC readers that illegal immigrants are NOT, in fact, the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    The people need informing.

    Reply
  5. jay

    Brad Clontz? Former Brave Brad Clontz?

    So, the ajc is admitting that they have no Conservatives on the staff they can promote into this position.

    [[ I’m pretty sure “Clontz” is a pseudonym. – LAF ]]

    Reply
  6. radiowxman

    I admit, I applied for this position. I’m sure I’m a longshot, but what the heck. The problems with the newspaper industry would take 500 pages to break down, but the AJC needs someone for some semblance of conservative balance.

    I did find it amusing they’re opening up the search to the general public. Not only does it mean they have no internal candidates, but it also means there are few, if any, external candidates working in newspapers.

    Reply
  7. Mr. Bear

    Since we’re in confession mode here, I’ll admit that I applied also. It was mostly a philosophical thing. That is, as much as I’ve run my mouth over the years, I was largely obligated to step forward and let the chips fall where they may. This process was accelerated by my lovely bride and several others, who all got the same idea at the same time, which is to say, I should apply. Not them, me.

    So I gave it my best shot, but with reasonable trepidation. If nothing else, the job description indicated that the “winner” would be expected to actually work on a regular and continuous basis, which is contrary to my general style of life. And, then there is the minor matter of the workplace environment. Or, as I pointed out in an email to a contact: “What I am afraid of is that once there, the columnist is put in a little plastic display case in the lobby, titled “Our Conservative Columnist”. With no air holes in the box.” No running to the EEOC with that sort of stuff.

    In any case, I haven’t heard from them, and didn’t really expect so, but a friend’s response was interesting. “I’m sorry, but I hope that you don’t get that position.” “Why?” “Because if you started writing for them, then I’d have to subscribe to that piece of ******, and I don’t want that thing stinking up my driveway every morning.” Every man a poet. The guy does have a point on several different levels.

    Another cautionary tale comes from a restaurant review that appeared in the AJC about an El Salvadorian restaurant on The Buford Highway. The evening after that review appeared, my lovely bride and I went there at 7:00 PM. The place was authentic, so much so that the menus were in Spanish, so it was going to be a case of spinning the big wheel and see what happens out of the kitchen. Half of the gathered crowd were from the hinterlands, presumably some with their papers. But the other half of the crowd were white folks, and they almost all were in the age range of 55 – 75. Which is to say, those who read newspapers.

    We can speculate if the newspaper is going the way of the buggy whip and spats, but I think that one side issue for the AJC editorial board is that almost 200 drooling, knuckle-dragging, reactionary non-progressives showed up on their doorstep. I’m guessing that a modestly good number of them were intelligent and articulate. And I’m not sure that the AJC Editorial Board is ready for that sort of stuff. They were expecting stuff written in crayon.

    Reply
  8. itpdude

    I started to apply to this a long time ago until I realized I was no longer what one considers “conservative.” It’s not so much that I’ve changed that much (though I have) but really that the popular idea of conservative has changed so much.

    That and I’d written so much hate mail to Wooten over the years, there was no way I’d have a chance.

    Reply

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