"No one has been able to explain how the media … became the enemy" of student protesters

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The title quote comes from a Washington Post editorial, which rightly condemns what some students and student groups have been doing. But I think an explanation is pretty clear.

Newspapers aren't about honoring safe spaces. Newspapers—at least not their news pages—aren't about nurturing and welcoming and community healing. They're not supposed to be.

Many protesters want reporters there, because they want the reporters to tell the protesters' story. Yet once you bring in reporters, you lose control of the story you want to tell.

Of course, reporters should be fair. But "fair" is a slippery thing. Sometimes the reporters are genuinely unfair and selective in what they report. Sometimes they're fair, but you just don't like it. Often you can't tell which it is, because you're too invested in your cause. And in any event you can't know that up front. All you can know is that reporters are dangerous.

Tough-skinned political operatives know that, and plan around it, recognizing the costs as well as the benefits of media attention. The not-so-tough-skinned are in for an unpleasant surprise.