Ever since Bitter-gate broke last month, I’ve been trying to figure out how the media could knowingly side with Hillary Clinton and John McCain– two Washington lifers, both worth at least $100 million– in painting a black man raised by a single mother on food stamps who a little over a decade ago was making $13,000 a year as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago as the out-of-touch elitist. Meanwhile, Clinton and McCain, neither of whom has driven a vehicle for themselves in decades or knows how to make their own coffee, get to put their blue-collar, working-class masks on at their convenience with nary a snicker from the media. This New York Magazine piece by Kurt Anderson seems to provide as good an explanation for this phenomena as any:
As the cratering of newspaper circulations accelerates (thousands a week are now abandoning the Times) and network-news audiences continue to shrink, for big-time mainstream journalists to seem even more out of touch makes some of them panic. And … so … it’s all … his fault, that highfalutin Obama! Certain journalistic stars these last few weeks … reacted by parroting the Clinton campaign’s faux-populist talking points about Obama’s condescension toward the yokel class. But pandering to the yokels, pretending to share their tastes and POV? That goes pretty much unchallenged.
If the wellborn New England Wasp George W. Bush (Andover ’64, Yale ’68, Harvard ’75) could be successfully refashioned as a down-home rustic, why shouldn’t Hillary Clinton (Wellesley ’69, Yale ’73) be talkin’ guns and drinkin’ Crown Royal shots and droppin’ all the g’s from her gerunds whenever she speaks extemporaneously these days? Naked disingenuousness apparently isn’t as off-putting as, say, failing to pin a tiny metal American flag to one’s lapel.