On a recent PBS Newshour [1/8/13] journalist Joe Klein said something that really hit me as a simple truth. Fellow journalist and author Richard Ben Cramer had just died. His career was being discussed and praised. Part of the dialogue was about a lack of true insight and respect by journalists today. Most pointedly disrespect toward those who choose to put themselves on the line by becoming involved in government. It is hard to admit, but even the most distasteful policticians deserve the respect that they do not often give others. Ben Cramer respected those who put themselves on the line to serve in government, even if he did not agree with their politics.
This quote has applications to people, in every walk of life and profession. It encompasses all aspects of the media, not just print journalism. Here is the quote from Mr. Klein:
“Well, one of the things I have learned is that cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.”
Click here to see the entire interview and learn more about Richard Ben Cramer.
Thank you to Joe Klein for his many insights that reach beyond politics. Thanks also to Chris Cillizza, the other journalist interviewed about Richard Ben Cramer.
As a postscript: I recently saw the HBO documentary  on baseball great Ted Williams. Interviews with Ben Cramer are part of the film. Cramer is memorable character with great knowledge about Williams, which is sort of an understatement. [click here]. Cramer has a distinct sense of humor and twinkle in his eyes. After seeing this documentary I have a better idea of why Joe Klein and Chris Cillizza spoke so warmly of Richard Ben Cramer.