How Elitist and Out of Touch Can the MSM Get? Even You Will be Surprised

The Washington Post is NOT a liberal newspaper! Yes let it be said: in today’s world the paper that broke open the Watergate scandal is a bland, right-wing shill. If the same attitude at the Post had prevailed in the 1970s, Watergate would just be another hotel in Washington-only affordable to people who make the kind of money that, well, many editors and journalists at the Post make.

Even worse, the WaPo is very anti-union- just look at how they treat their own employees. The mailers at the Post haven’t had a raise in years. Of course, if there are no mailers, the WaPo doesn’t get out to its subscribers. The folks who make the revenues happen at WaPo are not getting their fair share of that revenue.
See here for more.

I’ve also seen some postings here about Joe Klein and how ineffectual he is and how he shills for BushCo. Not only is he as bad as you might have suspected, he’s worse. In Klein’s view, what is needed in America today is “a ‘Party of Sanity’, representing the pragmatic centrism of the business and professional elites”….

“The Party of Sanity has rallied in recent weeks. The first sign was the bipartisan agreement by 14 U.S. Senators to preserve the filibuster rule while allowing a vote on some of President Bush’s more conservative judicial appointments. Some experts opined that this marked the beginning of a third force in the Senate—the Philadelphia Inquirer even suggested it held the potential for “a third party of the center”—but what it really marked was the restoration of business as usual: control of the Senate by moderate consensus.

“A second sign came on May 29, when the New York Times reported that 24 leaders of groups ranging from the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the liberal AFL-CIO had been meeting secretly for seven months because they were worried about the sketchy, inefficient quality of American health care and wanted to figure out a proposal for universal coverage. Two weeks earlier, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Newt Gingrich, the yin and yang of politics in the 1990s, announced that they had found common ground on the issue as well. The renewed search for a comprehensive health-care solution reflects a deeper tide of concern in corporate America over the debilitating costs of providing health insurance and pensions for employees. These concerns are accompanied by general alarm in the Party of Sanity over the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration, the continuing frustration over the war in Iraq, and the Administration’s failure to lead instead of attempting to dominate an Alliance of Sanity in the world.

“Is it possible that these victories represent the glimmerings of a blissfully reasonable new era? The front runners for the presidency in both parties, Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton, are essentially Sane sorts. But both will have to navigate the partisan interests, especially the secular and religious extremists, in their respective parties.”

Of course there is the totally inaccurate criticism of Kerry, Edwards, and the Democrats.

“Ronald Reagan tapped into a vein of conservative social populism that changed the G.O.P., and a series of effete intellectual candidacies—from Eugene McCarthy’s to John Kerry’s—has reflected the Democrats’ transformation into a party dominated by well-educated coastal professionals. In the 2004 election, Bush beat Kerry among the white working class by some 24 points.

“Populists of both strains tend to believe that the system is rigged by dark and powerful forces that prevent the little guy from getting ahead, which means they tend to be angry. They also tend to be dividers rather than uniters. Even the nice-guy populism attempted by former Senator John Edwards in the last presidential campaign had a divisive edge. His theme was “two Americas.” Pessimism, anger and unsubtle divisiveness tend to be total nonstarters in American politics.”

Hmmm, so that gentleman who helped Kerry win 40% of the rural vote was, oh what was his name?” Oh yeah, the only two candidates since 1976 to outdo Kerry in rural areas? Clinton in 1996 and Michael Dukakis (yep, that Massachusetts liberal) in 1988 (both men got 44% of the rural vote).

As far as the white working class is concerned, Klein uses the deeply flawed method of measuring class votes by education levels. The “white working class” Klein refers to are simply whites without a four year college degree.

According to this definition the following college dropouts (okay some never even went to college) are part of the white working class: Bill Gates, Paris Hilton, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Britney Spears, Eminem, Madonna, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, etc. Meantime, a college-educated teacher making less than $40,000 a year is considered to be part of the “upper-class.”

Does this seem weird to anybody here? The fact is Kerry won 63% of the vote among voters from households making 0-15K a year, 57% of the 15K-30K a year income group, and beat Bush 51%-49% among the $30,000-$50,000 group. Kerry totals among all households making less than 50K: 55%-44%. In all these income groups Kerry outperformed both Clinton and Gore.

57% of households (but unfortunately, only 45% of the 2004 voting electorate) make less than $50,000 a year! I wonder if Klein knows that as he jets from Westchester County in NY to Georgetown and back? I doubt it. Klein merely cites this invalid statistic for one main reason: it validates his own wealth and elitism. Go ahead Joe, benefit all you want from Bush’s tax cuts while others go hungry and without health care- through their votes the “middle class” has allegedly said you should grab all the green you can get (remember Klein was a proponent for Social Security privatization-and has reported in the past that Bill Clinton was ready to privatize SS before being engulfed in the impeachment scandal)*

After all the truth is just to painful even for a soulless shill like Klein to admit: Bush won by massive turnout among the 43% of households making over $50,000-they were 55% of the voting electorate in 2004. Not to mention Bush did better among this group (with his largest margins coming from those who make well in excess of $100,000) than Kerry did among the under 50K crowd. If it wasn’t for “secular elitists” and the “religious” voters that Klein condemns, Klein would be facing that most terrible thing: higher taxes on people actually like himself.

Check out this response to Klein column from David Sirota.

*According to Klein, Clinton was moving, before Monica Lewinsky derailed him, toward significant changes in Social Security and Medicare—especially Medicare, for which he was ready to support a market-oriented approach but retreated at the behest of congressional liberals who supported him during the impeachment fiasco.”

Care to wonder who Klein would like to see as president if it is to be a Democrat?

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About Nick

Teacher of Social Studies. Born in the 1970s. History major, music minor. Big Baseball fan. Economic progressive.
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8 Responses to How Elitist and Out of Touch Can the MSM Get? Even You Will be Surprised

  1. Ron Chusid says:

    I get the feeling that Klein largely classifies those he agrees with as sane and those he disagrees with as the party of passion. In reality, this is a poor way to divide the parties. There are those who sound more sane and those dominated by passion on both sides. Therefore we have our disagreements with those on the left blogosphere who might more fit into the party of passion, but we still are more likely to agree with them on more fundamental issues than than those on the right Klein might be considered sane.

    In Klein’s case, part of the bias might not necessarily be liberal versus conservative. It’s a problem we are seeing with many journalists who have become extremely wealthy and now identify with the establishment far too much to be an effective reporter. Klein’s preference for what he sees as the “pragmatic centrism of the business and professional elites” basically means that he identifies with those he tends to hang out with now that he is a wealthy, successful writer.

  2. ifkeditor says:

    Joe Klein IS an arrogant elitist. I have firsthand knowledge.

    I tried to introduce myslef to him in early January 2004 at a Kerry rally in Iowa, and he didn’t give me the time of day.

    I wanted to talk to him about my website and mention that Kerry had bloggers in support of him too, even though at the time Dean was getting all the attention, and Klein couldn’t have been less interested. He basically ignored me and went on talking to someone else as if I wasn’t there.

  3. Ron Chusid says:

    Another concern is that those business and professional elites will not always make the best decisions. In some cases, successful businessmen and professionals may have a sensible centrist view and make the right choices, but we cannot count on that.

    Businessmen tend to see business success as the hightest good, and then find rationalizations. To some degree having a successful business climate is beneficial, even to workers, but situations where this is does not apply are also obvious.

    Those sane centrist businessmen are less likely to be concerned about issues of principle. They’d be far too quick to accept the false claims of people like Bush that we must go to war to protect agaisnt terrorism and WMD. (To be more cynical, they’d also consider the profit potential of the war). While they might not personally encourage torture, they’d also be less likely to become very concerned in stopping it.

    These are also the types who are quick to get into bed with the religious right even if they don’t share their view. If a coalition with the religious right gets more votes to decrease corporate taxes, they’ll live with restrictions on abortion rights even if they don’t have a strong desire to enact such restrictions themselves.

  4. ifkeditor

    Klein is not the only journalist who outwardly ignores the fact that Kerry had bloggers or still does. I was interviewed by the Boston Globe summer 03, they ran a piece the campaign blogs, noted JK had one and them made it all about Dean bloggers.

    Maybe we’re not “angry” enough? All the angry bloggers get the ink.

  5. KJ says:

    Why do I consistently post (and end up talking to myself) on the wrong thread? LOL

    My comments re: Klein, labels, angry bloggers and etc can be found here:

    Don’t anyone hurt themselves trying to get to them. LOLOLOL

  6. Ginny in CO says:

    “the only two candidates since 1976 to outdo Kerry in rural areas? Clinton in 1996 and Michael Dukakis (yep, that Massachusetts liberal) in 1988 (both men got 44% of the rural vote).”

    All the more interesting given how different the political climate was that far back. For Kerry to get 40% of the rural vote in the 2004 mindset is more than most of us would expect. I would have anticipated something like the percentages of frequent church goers- who supported Bush in numbers into the 80’s as I recall.

    On the elitist garbage. I was on Media Matters and went back to the fake Carl Cameron story in ’04 about the manicures. The weird thing about that was, even IF Kerry had gotten a manicure, I distinctly remembered having read about this becoming very common amongst high executives and CEO’s because of how much more attention people pay to image than what you say. Isn’t this behind all the makeup time the guests and anchors go through for every show? IF Kerry did get a manicure, was it to be sure on this hugely important broadcast, the viewers would pay attention to what he was saying instead of the hand holding the mike?

    Ayn Rand, the advocate of enlightened self interest capitalists, defended bland/uniform business dress as serving the purpose of keeping attention on the discussion rather than appearance.

    Klein and company are good examples of unenlightened self interest in the media. The fuller consequences of their actions in the world is of no concern, as long as the forseeable future continues the safety of their comfortable lifestyle.

  7. Nick says:


    God, Klein is an even bigger jerk than I thought! Don’t worry IFK, Klein may view you as lower than salt, but that just shows how out of touch Klein is. I love your website and check it out quite often.

  8. Nick says:

    “Klein and company are good examples of unenlightened self interest in the media. The fuller consequences of their actions in the world is of no concern, as long as the forseeable future continues the safety of their comfortable lifestyle.”


    Couldn’t have said it better myself; I espeically love the part about “their comfortable lifestyle.” Brilliant!