Friday, October 17, 2008

Once a journalist, always a journalist

I am so proud today to call myself a journalist.

Granted, I "sold out to the man" upon graduation from college, taking a job in corporate communication. Call me what you will - spin doctor, corporate mouthpiece, hack. I have always considered myself a corporate journalist. My objectivity is often stretched and tested by my boss and our leadership, just like my colleagues in the mainstream media deal with publishers and editors. But we are all journalists, governed by ethics that run as strong and sure in us as our morning coffee.

So why am I waxing philosophical about my profession and that of so many of my near and dear friends? It's simple, folks. Today, the Chicago Tribune, the publication I have called "my paper" since high school, endorsed Barack Obama for President. This is the first time in the publication's history that it has endorsed the Democratic Party candidate for President.

In other new, hell froze over.

See what I mean?

Reading their endorsement gave me the chills. Here's just a tiny bit of what the paper has to say:

On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign. We wrote that he would celebrate our common values instead of exaggerate our differences. We said he would raise the tone of the campaign. We said his intellectual depth would sharpen the policy debate. In the ensuing 22 months he has done just that.

Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them.

We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.

We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.

The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.

But don't just take my word for it. Read the whole damned editorial. See if it gives you the chills, too.


monkeyhouse said...

Sellout? Hack? I still prefer Big Head.

maggie said...

Yes, well, I will always be YOUR Big Head, so you'll just have to deal.