Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Familiar Journalistic Genre

A weekend profile in the Guardian of Eric Hobsbawm prompts Tory MP Michael Gove to write in the Times of London:

There’s a special sort of piece that appears only in The Guardian (or The New York Times) that deserves to be recognised as a journalistic genre in its own right. They masquerade as balanced and judicious profiles of individuals. But in fact they are vigorous defences, or at least pleas in mitigation, for people who cannot be allowed to be seen as guilty of any great sin because they’re On The Left.

We do indeed see that genre on this side of the Atlantic. My nominees for figures who are often written about this way would be the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, Fidel Castro and (bow your head, please) St. Robert F. Kennedy.

Not to mention Karl Marx.

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