Friday, June 02, 2006

be careful what you wish for

Juan Cole was just turned down for a job at Yale and bloggers at Power Line and Dean's World are happy about it. Dave Price calls it a sign of sanity at Yale. Well, maybe it is, in a way; Juan Cole has a habit of taking the side of terrorists against his own country, and I wouldn't want someone like that teaching my kids at college. But on the other hand, what does this say about the potential effects of blogging on one's career? It's possible that if Juan Cole weren't a blogger, that he would be a Yale professor today --a job with unusually high prestige in some circles, and certainly in the circles that Cole frequents.

And even if blogging didn't cost Cole a dream job, there will be wide perception that it did. This event may make talented and ambitious people less likely to blog, and the effect will be exaggerated on the conservative/libertarian side of the blogosphere. Conservatives and libertarians are much more vulnerable to this type of viewpoint discrimination than are leftists like Cole. Being perceived as right-wing can cause you career problems at most universities, mass media outlets, and government agencies. Being perceived as left-wing really can't hurt you much. In part because right-wingers, unlike left-wingers, tend to believe in freedom of speech for everyone, not just people they agree with.

After Juan Cole got (apparently) slammed for blogging, anyone who wants to achieve in those areas might be well-advised to keep his opinions to himself.

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