Monthly Archives: March 2012
By Chris Daly
Newt Gingrich has done it again. On Sunday morning, he was the lead-off guest on “Meet the Press.” (So, no whining, Mr. Gingrich, about being ignored by the media.)
The able, veteran host, David Gregory, led off with the kind of question that such a host is supposed to ask on such a show: he asked about the hottest story of the previous 72 hours, the flap over access to contraception in health insurance plans.
Did Gingrich respond? Did he weigh in on the issue that so many Americans were thinking about?
He did not!
He went straight into political jiujitsu mode and tried to attack Gregory. His reply:
“You know, David, I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media…”
Whoa. Stop the video.
ELITE MEDIA?? What is Gingrich talking about. That is, what is he really talking about.
Gingrich flings that term “elite media” around every chance he gets. He must have reason to believe that it helps him with some sub-set of the U.S. electorate.
Here’s the question I wish Gregory had come back to him with: “What do you mean, Mr. Speaker, by elite media? Is there some other kind? Is there a zhlubby, mediocre media that you prefer? Is there a really dopey, terrible media that is somehow not getting its fair shake?”
What, in other words, does the word “elite” add to Gingrich’s sneering, mocking phrase “the elite media”? He protests an awful lot.
Is not Gingrich, a former professor, part of an elite?
Is not Gingrich, an author of multiple books, part of an elite?
Is not Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House, part of an elite?
Is not Gingrich, TIME magazine’s 1995 “Man of the Year,” part of an elite?
Is not Gingrich, a multimillionaire consultant, part of an elite?
Just to clarify, I entered the word “elite” into an online antonym finder and came up with the following list: common, low-class, ordinary, poor, worst, commoners, plebites, proletariat, low-born, low-life, poor, unprivileged, vulgar, wanting.
Would Gingrich really prefer a low-class, wanting, vulgar media staffed with ordinary proletariat commoners?
Maybe he would.
By Chris Daly
The Hearst Corp has decided to give itself a big birthday — 125.
That is predicated on the fairly arbitrary starting point of March 4, 1887, the date on which young William Randolph Hearst took over the management of his father’s newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner. It’s as good a date as any, I suppose, although it was another two decades before WRH really started building the media empire that still endures. Hearst, naturally, looms large in my new book on the history of journalism, Covering America, since his career lasted from 1887 almost to his death in 1951.
Fun fact: Hearst opposed U.S. intervention in WWI, and he came under attack from Wilson and his supporters. On the defensive about his loyalty, Hearst literally became a flag-waver: he ordered the editors of all his newspapers to print little American flags on the upper corners of every front page.
Don’t miss the great visuals in the slideshow and video in the company’s anniversary page. Hearst Corp., by the way, is one of the biggest privately held media companies in the U.S., owning everything from TV stations to Cosmopolitan and O magazines.