Rosen On Sotomayor

He thinks he's being misread:

Conservatives are already citing my initial piece on Sotomayor as a basis for opposing her. This willfully misreads both my piece and the follow-up response.

A few months ago I had the privilege of sitting on a panel with Chris Hayes, over at The Nation. We were talking to a bunch of students who hoped to one day be lefty opinion journalists. A woman asked Chris how the a liberal journalists can make a presumably apathetic, and ill-informed public care about liberal issues. Chris gave a beautiful answer--Do your fucking job.

OK, so maybe it wasn't that colorful. But the essence was that the reader has no obligation to pay attention to what you care about. It's your job to apply the basic tools of journalism--great reporting and writing--and thus make people care. His argument was that the best thing the liberal writer could do for other liberals, was be a great writer.

I thought about that when I read Rosen today. The fact is that he was sloppy, and his sloppiness empowered people whom he probably doesn't care much for. But had he not rushed the piece in the first place, had he taken more time, it never would have come to that. The first rule, always, always, is to do your fucking job.