I will start by saying that apart from the copy of The Communist Manifesto that we received at the start of MU J-School (not!), I oddly enough never received any Marxist training at the MU J-School, nor did any of my many professors there ever talk about Marxism or Marxist principles. They did talk a lot about journalistic principles -- principles that I often complain in this space are way too often ignored these days, at least at the national media level. It was at the MU J-School that I learned that while we all have our own opinions, biases and perhaps certain ideologies, a journalist does his/her best at all times to divorce those items from his/her news coverage (unless of course he/she is providing editorial commentary or news analysis clearly labeled as such).
It was also there that I was exposed to a broad diversity of world views and perspectives from my fellow journalism students, ranging from thoughtful, intelligent conservatives to equally thoughtful and intelligent liberals. I was basically a kid then who had done very little thinking for himself, and frankly you could pretty accurately describe me as a liberal back then. I still can recall those wonderful political discussions and arguments with my good friend and devout republican Brett (a huge Rush Slimebaugh fan, BTW) down at Shakepeare's Pizza after our Friday night KBIA shift. Good friend Josh would go with us, and Josh and I would kind of gang up on Brett, but he damn sure always held his own very well. And he gave me reason to think, and at times to re-evaluate, and more importantly to realize that viewing the world through the lense of partisan blinders is a very anti-intellectual way of going about things. Other conservatives there like a certain larger-than-life, Elvis-loving figure named Strauss had the same impact. Did they ever convert me over to the Dark Side? No. But they played just as big of a role in the person that I am today as anyone ever did. And I thank them for that.
To summarize, my experience at the MU J-School was a highly fun period of years of being exposed to entire panoply of human ideas and world views. It was wonderfully educational and character-shaping. Were there likely more left-leaning folks there in total than there were right-leaning folks? Probably so -- the same as at most newsrooms across the country. And there's nothing wrong with that. If you endeavor to always aspire to the core principles of good journalism, then I don't give a rat's behind what your political persuasion happens to be.
And just one final note in retort to Slimebaugh's drivel from today: Of the literally hundreds of folks -- both future journalists and professors alike -- whom I met and got to know during my years the MU J-School, I can honestly say that I did not so much as run across even one Marxist! Actually, I would have liked to, because it would have been fascinating to know such a person, even if I think such a world view is so completely wrong, dangerous and out-of-place for an intelligent human being. But I would have listened, probably laughed at him/her a fair amount, and would have tried to express to him/her why I think that world view should be eschewed. Hey, I always like meeting new kinds of people! But unfortunately, meeting Marxists and being exposed to Marxist thought is simply something that never happened at the University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School. Sorry, Slimebaugh.