American journalism has long maintained a sort of egalitarian myth about itself. While our country’s free press requires no formal training or licensing, an honest history of the profession shows very distinct hierarchies, from the vaunted Runyonesque blue-collar beat reporter to legendary insiders, like Washington uber-columnist Scotty Reston, who act as handmaidens to the powerful.
Let the elites buy and read the NYT.
Otherwise, use it for toilet paper if needed.
Perhaps I missed it Mr. Richardson, but you didn’t just say the most obvious thing of all. Those high-rollers that these elite journalists write about probably wouldn’t let some no-name scribbler from some land grant Midwestern university even into their edifices of success. So it is necessary to have persons of good family pedigree, and of means, polished in the halls of our most prestigious learning institutions to sit at the elbows of the wealthy and powerful - to take dictation. And to faithfully transcribe it into typeface, with undisturbed and unchallenged purpose.
It is only by the badges of their ideological loyalty (family pedigree, MONEY, degree from an elite university) can our masters be sure that their message, their enlightened vision for them and all their subjects, is disseminated pure, without taint, to us, the unwashed masses.
You don’t really think the poohbahs of Goldman Sachs will sit down and talk with someone from The American Socialist do you? Or even, for that matter, Solon or The Christian Science Monitor?
Here’s a related thought: If man finally achieves the creation of artificial intelligence, I submit that the instrument of that cognition will resemble, both in form and function, our very own brains. I’ll leave it to you to glom the indecipherable difference between message and messenger, the subject of your editorial.
As usual, George scooped us:
I for one, don’t give a shit about the DOW and resent the Wall Street Gambling Casino running our lives.
Direct Grassroots Democracy
"The specific numbers are even more illuminating. According to the survey, “43.9 percent of New York Times and 49.8 percent of Wall Street Journal staff editors/writers attended an elite school.”
So the first question is what are the criteria for an a elite school and the next question is which schools are the elite schools. The study provides this information. But here is the problem. Some large state universities that didn’t make the list (all undergrad schools that made the list are private) have honors colleges with admissions standards are equivalent to the schools that made the list, So if these honors colleges were included the number of elite schools would be expanded and the so-called “elite schools” would not seem that elite. I think this study is seriously flawed because it left out state university honors colleges.
“And to faithfully transcribe it into typeface, with undisturbed and unchallenged purpose.”
Noam Chomsky has been writing books for thirty years now explaining how and why reporting in the NY Times and WSJ so faithfully reflects the values and interests of the elite. Most of FAIR’s weekly reporting - again, for decades now - clearly documents this bias in the Times and other press outlets.
By contrast with that kind of rigorous analysis, this focus on what schools the journalists graduated from seems rather trivial and naive.
“And yet the more the staffs of the Times and Journal resemble those powerful politicians and wealthy public figures that they cover, the greater the risk they will become too credulous or incurious about them, whether intentionally or unwittingly.”
Sorry, but that ship sailed long ago.
Ohhh, get OVER it!!!
The NYT does not “mirror” the 1%.
It SERVES it!
Lamestreet media is as big of a problem as gun violence, citizens united, corruption in our political and corporate worlds noting I can not list them all as to large a list of conspirators.
The failures of " the best and the brightest " has been well documented. From Korea, to their disastrous hubris in Vietnam, and now into the deep tarpits of Afghanistan and the MENA, it’s been one fusterclucked mind meld, after another. And, their class consciousness and elite worship of style over substance, never seems to bother them. Look no further than their advertisers.
They keep offering up a menu of wisdom no one is asking second helpings of. Judith Miller was at least pushed over to FAUX NEWS, her natural nesting place. What about Brooks, his comfort area would seem to be The Citadel, as a guidance counselor. Or Tom Friedman, who’d be a great vice-president of Yeshiva University, leading the p.r. dept.
As part of my course work in college we were tasked with reading both of these newspapers. The WSJ’s editorial section was a blatant punch in the face to progressive forces and the NYT just seemed effete and pretty snobbish. Except for the crossword puzzle, of course, which was just damn hard some Sundays.