David T. Wright on the media's new class


Wright from Washington City

July 17, 2000


Ink-stained no longer
The media's new class



You've just gotta love the Kennedys. Just when things get a little boring, one of them always comes through with some entertainment. Skiing head first into tree trunks, raping coeds, stupidly crashing airplanes, drunkenly driving off bridges — they're a laugh a minute. Patrick Kennedy, U.S. representative from Rhode Island and scion of patriarch Ted, recently diverted us by getting angry at a Los Angeles airport security guard who wouldn't let him through with his grossly oversized carry-on baggage. Being a Kennedy, of course, he could not be subjected to the usual rules and obligations we commoners must accept. So he pushed her around a bit. Fortunately, it was all caught on videotape for the edification of us proles.

There was the usual flash-in-the-pan coverage of the event; after all, entertaining footage like that can't be fully suppressed, though in most cases it was edited. But then, as is usual with such issues that might trouble our rulers, it was dropped from the news in a day or two, and the incident receded quickly from the public consciousness. In Massachusetts, where anything concerning the Kennedys is sure to get more attention than elsewhere, the Boston Globe apparently felt obligated to provide some in-depth coverage of the matter. So, naturally, they went for dirt on — the security guard, with a story by Anne E. Kornblut, from the paper's Washington office. The title was: "Kennedy Accuser Has History of Theft, Drug Convictions." That'll teach her!

Often mediafolk completely steer around news that would embarass their favorite rulers. Andrea Mitchell, newsperson for NBC News and big-time Hillary fan, covered the funeral of John Cardinal O'Connor. She was there, of course, because Bill and Hillary Clinton were there. Mitchell couldn't resist getting in a little dig at Hillary's then-opponent in the Senate race, Rudy Giuliani, who was also in attendance. She made a snide reference to the recent allegations of a relationship between Giuliani and a woman not his wife, allegations that have since been proved true. What she didn't see fit to bring up was that Bill and Hillary crashed the funeral. O'Connor despised Clinton and had specifically asked that he not be allowed in.

The latest example is the revelation by Internet gadfly Matt Drudge that John Connolly, a reporter for New York Magazine and Premiere Magazine, was working on a "slash and burn" book exposing the personal secrets of a large number of Clinton critics, including Ken Starr and his subordinates, Lucianne Goldberg (Linda Tripp's friend and ally), conservative columnist Ann Coulter, and many others. Using his advance from the new Disney publishing house Talk/Miramax, Connolly had apparently been hiring private detectives to dig up the dirt on Clinton's enemies. Talk/Miramax is headed by Tina Brown, former editor of the New Yorker and well-known Clinton supporter. But Connolly clumsily stepped on a lot of toes, including those of some of Brown's friends. When Drudge made the whole thing public, it got so hot for poor Tina that she had to drop her plans to publish the book.

Such incidents are Rush Limbaugh's bread and butter, and he uses them to show how the "Liberal News Media" run interference for favored Democrats. But Rush is missing the main point. It's not that the media are "liberal" — though they are loyal to the Red Guard side of the ruling party. It's not even that they have become part of our ruling elite — though they have. The important thing is that the top-ranking "reporters" and editors working for the Ministry of Truth and the top-level political types in the formal regime have, to all intents and purposes, become one class.

Take State Department spokesweasel Jamie Rubin. He's married to Christiana Amanpour, the CNN warmonger who not too long ago broadcast reports from Bosnia that coincidentally helped boost the administration's policy of intervention there. And they're far from the only couple moving in both news media and political circles.

Mr. Robert Barnett, Esquire, serves as one of Bill Clinton's personal attorneys. That means, of course, that he is constantly called upon to repeat Bill's lies and make up even more lies. Less well-known, though, are the facts that 1) he has contributed money to Queen Hillary's increasingly desperate campaign for the Senate, and 2) he is married to Rita Braver, the CBS News correspondent. [1]

Want other examples? Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, arguably the most powerful man in the world, is married to the above-mentioned Andrea Mitchell. U.S. Senator John Warner of Virginia and NBC's Bawbwa Waltuz have been an item for years. Many years ago an acquaintance told me of a visit to Warner's palatial office in the hugely expensive Hart Senate Office Building. The gallant Warner, he said, pointed to the sofa and bragged, "I [fornicated with] Barbara Walters on that couch!" [2] The winsome Cokie Roberts is the daughter of two Democrat congresspeople, Hale Boggs and his wife Lindy, who took over her husband's job when he became permanently inert.

These people live in the same elegant neighborhoods and go to the same parties (invitations to those of Katharine Graham, the Washington Post doyenne, are especially prized). They shop in the same expensive stores, eat in the same exclusive restaurants, and play golf and tennis at the same country clubs. Their kids go to the same high-priced private schools. In fact, more and more often their kids are the same kids.

And, increasingly, they're taking the same jobs, as well. George Stephanopoulos is one of the more conspicuous members of the political elite who have found a burrow in Minitrue, in his case at ABC News. David Gergen made the same jump to the media when he left off working for Clinton some years back. Chris Matthews, syndicated columnist, reporter for the San Francisco Examiner, and moderator of his own TV talk show, used to work in Congress as a Democrat staffer. So did Tim Russert of ABC, now known for his immoderate attacks on conservative guests on his own talk show.

It works the other way, too. After many years of writing mush for Time magazine (our version of the Nazi rag, Signal) and tirelessly apologizing for the Soviet empire, Strobe Talbot became a tireless apologist for the current Russian regime and the New World Order as a sub-Cabinet official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In fact, as an old-line WASP he is the only high-ranking political appointment there who is not Jewish, in a ministry once a preserve of Episcopalian WASP aristocrats. [3] Some accomplishment for a "journalist." [4]

William Kristol, son of Irving Kristol, the former left-winger and co-founder of the "neoconservatives," started out as a "journalist," then became Dan Quayle's chief of staff at the White House. He abandoned Quayle like a piece of gum under a movie-theater seat when it became clear Danny hadn't a chance of becoming president. Kristol the younger now edits the Weekly Standard, possibly the most bloodthirsty, warmongering publication in America, and at the same time one of the most soporific. (Quite a trick, that.)

The smarmy Sidney Blumenthal made his name as a writer for the "Style" section of the Washington Post, where he attacked enemies of the Permanent Regime's dominant faction with sardonic wit mixed with half-truths, distortions, innuendo, and outright lies. As Hillary Clinton's minion, he now does the same thing from the Presidential Palace, where he has earned the charming nickname "Sid Vicious."

That dominant faction of the regime is, of course, the Democrats, and among them the news elites identify with the Red Guards. It's not just political power that draws the newsies to the Guards. Many of the older newspeople spring from the same roots — having been student leftists themselves in their salad days. And among their many assets — ruthlessness, organizational skills, the ability to stay up through all hours of the night arguing at meetings until their political rivals give up and go home to bed, etc. — the Guards have the vital talent for being cool. Hollywood types just flock to them.

Scores of movie stars and producers are Friends of Bill, even if they've been a little low-profile about it recently. And all those cool lefty causes — Global Warming, confiscating firearms, helping The Children, saving the Rain Forest, and so on — have movie or recording stars pimping for them: Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell, and on and on. What kind of Hollywood types are spokesmen for Republicans? Charlton Heston, a total geezer. With rare exceptions (Tom Selleck, Ahnuld Schwartzenegger), Republicans are just too uncool. I mean, look at Trent Lott's hair! Liyeeek, where does he get it styled — Kmart?

Somebody once said that politics is Hollywood for ugly people. For many products of today's pathetic "education" system who want more than life back home can offer, so-called journalism is the next best thing to either one. After all, many if not most Washingtonians in the news business (and in politics, too) come from backwaters in Fly-Over Land, having grown up in deadly ordinary surroundings. For many of them, coolness is the ultimate virtue. And Washington is so much cooler than Back Home.

They get off the plane in the Imperial City from Ardmore, Oklahoma, and Rapid City, North Dakota, to serve as interns, whether in a newsroom or in Congress. If they're unlucky, they get stuck at a minor agency in a minor department, or, if their parents are unlucky, at the White House. Most are just awed by the glamor of it all. They, too, want to go to concerts at the Kennedy Center, to eat at the fancy restaurants, to live in a swanky place on a tree-lined street in Potomac or Georgetown or off Foxhall Road. They, too, want to rub shoulders with Important People, and Walk the Corridors of Power. And so they eagerly buy in to the dress, speech patterns, and ideologies of the people they want to emulate — whether those be politicians or newsies. The more enterprising ones read Washingtonian magazine to find out what to wear, what to eat, and where to shop; and the Washington Post and the New York Times to know what to think and what to say. The less intelligent ones become Republicans.

A women I met about fifteen years ago is a case in point. She came to the Imperial City fresh out of college, a Republican farm girl from Oregon — and she loved it here. Although she had taken journalism classes, she more or less retained a certain conservative attitude when it came to politics and social issues. She managed to get a job as a gofer at ABC News, and the longer she worked there, the more her attitudes changed. After four years or so, she was working for "Nightline," and her views and lifestyle had become indistinguishable from those of any run-of-the-mill Democrat specimen of what a friend of mine calls "the Capitol Hill Puke." [5]

Not all fit that pattern. Some come from the ruling classes themselves and/or have been educated in the Ivy League. They're more likely to go into politics than snuffle around in a newsroom. But whichever way they go, most of the scions arrive already fitted out with the proper ruling-class attitudes and grooming habits, and serve as models for the yokels to emulate. [6]

Even for those who never make it to Washington or New York, the news business can still be a route to relatively high status. According to an article in the Washington Times, the Moonie-owned alternative to the mainline-establishment Washington Post, newspaper people are no longer the ink-stained working-class wretches portrayed in "The Human Comedy" or "The Front Page." They've come up quite a bit in the world, at least in medium-sized Middle American cities. The article reported results of an investigation by Peter Brown, Sunday Insight editor for the Orlando Sentinel, who did one survey of newspaper reporters and editors by looking at their home addresses, and another based on a poll of their views, attitudes, etc., contrasted with those of randomly selected residents in Dayton, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Syracuse, New York; Roanoke, Virginia; and Chico/Redding, California. Brown found that, while only 18 percent of the public in those cities had incomes of more than $50,000, 42 percent of the "journalists" did. And 30 percent of the newsies said they had to make $40,000 "just to make ends meet," while only 12 percent of the public said so.

Brown's geographical survey was even more revealing. Covering 3,400 home addresses of newspaper "journalists" in thirteen news outlets, including the Washington Post, the Washington bureau of CNN, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, it found that newspaper people favored, by far, neighborhoods associated with terms such as "radicchio," "Gruyere," "Rolex," and "BMW" over those whose lingua franca features "iceberg," "Velveeta," "Timex," and "Ford."

The Times writes: "Journalists are 'off the charts,' Brown found, in neighborhoods [he classified] as 'urban gold coast' (college grads in high-rise apartments or condos who travel first class on airplanes, attend live theater, and watch ABC's 'Nightline')." In fact, they are about nine times more likely to live in such 'hoods than the average resident of the metro area they cover.

And "they are five times more likely to live in what [Brown] calls 'Bohemian mix' — singles-dominated upscale neighborhoods, whose residents roll their own marijuana joints, play softball, spend at least $100 for a pair of jeans and subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine."

Brown points out that these "journalists" move in the same socio-economic circles as local politicians and members of the local ruling classes.


In the 1800s, one of the most degrading things a British aristocrat could do was take up with a member of the petty bourgeoisie. Only marrying a servant was worse. Marrying a rich factory-owner's daughter was bad enough but often necessary for an old family low on funds. The reason for such prejudice is obvious: the rising power of the bourgeois was a threat to the aristocrat's position in society. Nobody had to conspire; the prejudice just developed naturally and was passed down.

Today, media people protect their position the same way. Not long ago on National Bolshevik Radio I heard a "journalism" professor bewailing the shortage of "journalism" graduates for the traditional print media. Apparently, all those with initiative are going to better-paid jobs with Web-based publications, leaving the newspapers with the horrifying prospect of recruiting people who got their degrees in less-rigorous disciplines such as history and literature. The J-prof didn't say why that is a bad thing — does one really have to take three years of courses to learn how to research and write a news story? The truth, of course, is that "journalism" curricula are designed primarily to indoctrinate and socialize students as news-media neophytes.

Because newsies are allied with the Red Guards and their court factions, they naturally work against the factions most directly opposed to the Guards — the uncool "conservative" Republicans. But everyone closes ranks when dealing with people who have dangerously unacceptable views and attitudes, whether they be religious or political. Because such people threaten the supremacy of the ruling classes, a kind of class immune response kicks in. These mavericks are more than uncool — they're vile. When you're dealing with them, anything goes.

The most conspicuous recent example of such behavior is Minitrue's smearfest against Patrick Buchanan. Attack squirrels including William Kristol, William Bennett, George Will, William Safire, and Michael Kinsley — all of whom knew better — accused Buchanan of "anti-Semitism" on the flimsiest of grounds. Safire accused Buchanan of saying in his latest book that Hitler was a "nice guy" — an outright lie. Kinsley said that Buchanan's trade policies were indicative of anti-Semitism. He didn't explain how, but his statement was more revealing, perhaps, than he meant it to be.

Maybe the most disgusting comment issued from that "conservative" lap-dog of the left, George Will. His voice quivering with emotion, he declaimed on a talk show that Buchanan is a "fascist" because "tribalism plus autarky equals fascism." Like Kinsley, Will didn't feel the need to explain that astoundingly fatuous statement.

Buchanan's real crime, of course, is threatening the ruling Dark Suits — especially the American Jewish "leadership" — by promoting protectionism and opposition to immigration, foreign adventurism, and foreign aid. If one accepts the modern view that racism can be proved on the basis of "disparate impacts," Kinsley has a point.

Sure, members of the media do conspire with each other and with politicians when they feel it necessary. No doubt there were conspiracies involved in the trashing of Buchanan. Why, for instance, did William F. Buckley Jr. feel the need a few years ago to devote a whole issue of National Review to "The Search for Anti-Semitism," in which he, oh so sorrowfully, found Buchanan, a friend and former ally, guilty of that most heinous of crimes? By so doing, he made it more respectable for both "conservatives" and "liberals" to pile on later — and showed that those who worry about a "liberal bias" are off the mark.

But I'm sure that most, if not all, of those who helped in the Buchanan-bashing did it not because they were told to, but simply because they felt the need and saw the opportunity. Not only did most of them obviously enjoy it, they almost certainly slept soundly that night. They knew they had done the right thing, just as a British toff of the last century knew he was doing the right thing when he snubbed one of his own who had married a shopkeeper.

The members of the Ministry of Truth were simply behaving as members of a ruling class — and those attempting to join that ruling class — behave.


© 2000 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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1. Miz Braver recently had a little scare on a trip she took to Haiti to report on how things have improved since the U.S. intervened to install a Communist ex-priest as supreme ruler, with the media's blessing. Apparently things aren't going as well as she thought, because she and her crew ran into a large group of people who did not show proper respect for their liberators. In fact, they apparently didn't like Americans at all, because they yelled a lot, busted an expensive camera, stole the tape, and waved a 9mm pistol in poor Rita's face. Some people never seem to appreciate it when you try to help them out. Anyone who knows how to get stains out of soiled $50 panties is encouraged to contact Miz Braver at CBS News. (Back)


2. I don't know what my acquaintance's response was. I know what mine would have been: "Really? ... Why?" (Back)


3. At least, that's what he takes pains to make sure everyone believes. He insists that his name be pronounced "Tahlbot." (Back)


4. Oops! Almost forgot that the ghastly Madeleine Albrecht, the regime's Minister of Aggression Against Small, Helpless Foreign Countries, is an Episcopalian — nominally, at least. In fact, she is a Jewess from Czechoslovakia whose family emigrated here before the Good War. Her father returned to Central Europe after the war as an American ambassador and brazenly looted the house of an old Austrian family that had been requisitioned for his use. Her brother apparently still has some paintings and other treasures that the rightful owners are trying to retrieve, with little luck so far. Madeleine claims not to have known she is Jewish until it was revealed to her after she took up her current post. However, rumors about her true ethnic background were rife for many years before that, and the Jewish Zionist lobby was so enthusiastic about her appointment that her own ignorance is a little hard to believe in. (Back)


5. I remember waiting for that young lady in the ABC News lobby when Frank Reynolds, then the anchor for the evening news, left work for the day, his leg for some reason encased in a cast. Reynolds was surrounded like a potentate by a small crowd of subordinates and hangers-on, all of whom escorted him tenderly outside to his limousine. It looked as if they were saying goodbye to the Pope. (Back)


6. Janet Cooke, the Washington Post reporter who in 1981 confected a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about an 8-year-old child addicted to heroin, also made up her résumé. According to Benjamin Bradlee, Post executive editor at the time, what caught his eye was her falsified claim that she graduated from Yale. He circled it and passed the résumé on instead of canning it, as happens to most. By the way, after Cooke was found out and dumped for being a liar (or rather, a found-out liar), she married a Washington lawyer. (Back)