Thursday, September 19, 2013

Boutique Journalist John J. Miller, National Review, Complains About Michigan “Journalist” Law

The Nanny Michigan State Legislation is about to shatter the illusions of or is it delusions of Boutique Journalist John J. Miller over at the NRO – National Review Online.

In my recent research into the shards of what used to be the National Review of my youth, of several decades ago, I have been trying to put a finger on the outrageously overrated print child of William F Buckley Jr. and his bastion of right wing moneyed privilege and values at the old NR, what it has become in the modern Internet digital age.

Buckley spent decades on PBS, a government subsidized vehicle, for his Firing Line  series which was amusing at times if only to see how many of a dozen new exotic words Buckley would use in his one trick monkey bit to impress and push the conservative agenda, a decidedly viable political view in those older early days.

But I guess Mr. Miller who teaches on some subsidized teaching “Dow” research grant at some conservative college, Hillsdale, is trying to educate his Republican State Legislature that a new hard on GOP bill to define “Journalism” would take that title away from him and jeopardize his right to write in the public forum.

The legislation is a layer of nanny rules, more GOP (BIG) government to prevent Ambulance Chasing Lawyers from giving you a telemarketing call on your land line (dial) telephone, from them having access to accident reports at the local police station.  Only Journalists should have access to public information and not lawyers.  It never occurs to the Pubs in Lansing that maybe they could forbid advertising by lawyers or solicitation of business by phone etc. That I think would violate the myth of the pure open market religion of the far right.

Of course, if real market forces existed in America, the National Review would not, could not exist.  Each of its various departments specializing in content like law reviews or market forces or voodoo creationist science in Planet Gore, each command subsidy from various think tanks, much in the same way the Corner has become the Church Ladies corner under K-Lo and in deference to the uber-uber-Catholicism founder Bill Buckley Jr.

According to this new nanny regulation law, Journalists would have to be connected to hard print newspapers or magazines that print at least once a week which the apparently hard copy National Review does not.  

One would not know this fact, given that I read Mr. Miller’s piece on National Review NRO online that streams non-stop with, and in the “Corner” an online version of “News” with its ascetic style to underline links or PR Press Releases which is the whole real reason for the articles I think in the “Corner”. With Kathryn Lopez trying to build another career over at the Church Ladies league, The National Review these days in the Online Corner side seems like one long stream of RC Bishop press releases with Kathryn cut and pasting a few dozen words around every new underlined link.

But John J. Miller has lived in a bubble world that the rest of us are not privileged to be part of. Other real journalists are scrambling for jobs as newspapers close and newspapers online consolidate and try to figure out how to make a profit under real market forces and not being subsidized in Boutique Journalism with that of Mister or is it Professor Miller.

One of the marketing forces dictating work in the real world, and not the subsidized world of boutique journalism is also in being a burden on the company, in terms of salary and benefit costs, in being passed the 40 years of age mark as the red flags go up in the HR (personnel) department.  Mr. Miller, I hope his job at the college is secure on that score. Whatever.


Michigan lawmakers are mulling a bill that would definte the word “journalist.” This is a bad idea, as I explain in today’s Detroit News. For one thing, those of us who report and write for National Review wouldn’t qualify as journalists–and neither would writers for theAtlantic, Mother Jones, and Reason.

About the author 
John J. Miller is director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College and a longtime reporter for National Review. His latest book is “The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football.” …and The Unmaking Of Americans: How Multiculturalism has Undermined the Assimilation Ethic (1998, ISBN 0-684-83622-X)

From The Detroit News:


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