I ask people on the left, constantly, “so what, precisely, is the problem you have with Katherine Kersten – besides the fact that she’s a conservative?”
The closest thing I’ve seen to an answer that wasn’t solely fueled by politics was “she was never a reporter; she’s nothing but a think tank writer”. In this story – one you usually hear from people in the media – the idea that spending years becoming a hard-drinking, dyspeptic “ink-stained wretch” is the bit of seasoning in the human stew that makes a columnist a columnist. It’s sort of an echo of Nick Coleman’s classic explanation of why he’s better than bloggers, “I Know Stuff”, where “stuff” equals “reporter” stuff – as if the life experience we all bring to the table doesn’t really give one a useful perspective on anything. To these people, knowing the double-dog secret ace reporter handshake is the only real qualification.
Another one – and this one is overtly partisan – is that “Kersten is closely linked to Power Line“. I’ve heard it from any number of Twin Cities’ lefty writers, although Brian Lambert actually wrote it.
Now, I’ve seen a few leftymedia types jump from that to “Kersten and Powerline have the same opinions”, as if it’s unthinkable that four conservatives would have some occasional synchronicity, and ignoring that they, the critic, was usually in completely sync with “The Daily Kos” at any rate…
…but that’s not really the point.
I’m curious: the leftymedia says that Kersten having the occasional episode of synchronicity with Power Line is a bad thing…
…while Nick Coleman – the columnist against whom Kersten is constantly unfavorably compared because his decades as a reporter and columnist and just-plain observer – can get a complete pass for writing an uncritical, incurious, note-by-note regurgitation of a liberal think-tank piece to which Coleman added not a whiff of his vaunted no-nonsense reportorial curiosity or experience or world-weary inquisitiveness. Indeed, Coleman added nothing but a little brow-beating prejudice.
So let me ask, again – what is the comparison, here? Other than politics, of course?