Wednesday, June 07, 2006

David Warren, a newsroom exception

David Warren is a journalist at the Ottawa Citizen.   He is one of the good guy journalists you can count on for reasoned arguments and human decency.   His blog is a neverending source of joy at the power of words and ideas.   In another age essayists like David Warren would have their writings bound and printed in books that generations could pass down with pride.

Today he writes about the terrorists planning attacks in Canada, with his usual graciousness and insight.   It's a great read.   And this was his footnote.
To my colleagues who could not be present, let me add the purport of a talk I gave, to a group of fellow-journalists in Toronto, on returning from the bush, Monday night.

In a long, rambling, extemporaneous memoir, I emphasized the traditional hack virtues of smoking and drinking and general loucheness against the prim political correctness of the current media mainstream. The beauty of the old-time hacks, I averred, was that they did not seek fame, only adventure, in contact with life. They could be as anonymous as mediaeval artists. They did not consider themselves to be intellectuals, and so their heads were free of stinking pride. Yet they had pride in craft, which the current ones seldom have. All our little Woodwards and Bernsteins today want fame, instead. And they want it smoke-free and soberly, they are professional fame-seekers.

Take this, of course, with the charity I always intend.
Visit him often.

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