They Don't Know Their History at All—This is Elitism Straight Up

Back in February, leftwing journalist Kate Zernike of the New York Times was mentioned by name by Andrew Breitbart during his speech at February’s CPAC, after her attempt to smear conservative journalist Jason Mattera and the rest of the CPAC attendees as racists:


Kate Zernike of the New York Times, are you in the room? Are you in the room? You’re despicable. You’re a despicable human being. You’re the New York Times.  What is your headline here? You came to CPAC to get your prey and here’s your prey, Jason Mattera from HotAir and also from Young America’s Foundation. This is the headline: CPAC Speaker Bashes Obama, comma, in Racial Tones.

Perhaps Zernike is still feeling stung by the incident, because she isn’t helping her side’s cause, as Glenn Reynolds notes today in this round-up of links:


Kate Zernike of the New York Times describes how tea-party activists explore “dusty bookshelves for long-dormant ideas” and study “once-obscure texts” by “long-dead authors.” She is of course referring to Friedrich Hayek, whose book The Road to Serfdom was excerpted in Reader’s Digest and never has been out of print, whose Nobel Prize for economics in 1972 celebrated the importance and mainstream acceptance of his thinking, and whose death in 1992 isn’t exactly ancient history.

If they didn’t learn it in college, it’s “obscure.” Which, alas, merely highlights the inadequacy of their educations. (I, on the other hand, took a semester-long seminar on Hayek in college.) At any rate, the “obscure” Road to Serfdom is currently #56 on Amazon.

Related: Stuart Schneiderman: Who’s Smarter Now?

UPDATE: Reader Michael Costello writes: “How long has Karl Marx been dead? And Friedrich Hayek outlived Saul Alinsky by 20 years.”


If I had said a day ago that your typical New York Times reporter doesn’t have the vaguest sense of what the rule of law means, I would have heard from all sorts of earnest liberal readers — and probably some conservative ones too – about how I was setting up a straw man. But now we know it’s true. It’s not just that she doesn’t know what it is, it’s that even after (presumably) looking it up, she still couldn’t describe it and none of her editors raised an eyebrow when she buttered it.

The claims of superior intellect on the part of the legacy media seem unfounded.


Perhaps in attempting to understand the root causes of their anger, we can turn to an unlikely source. Given Zernike’s racialist obsessions, let’s paraphrase Janene Garofalo’s infamous rant last year on MSNBC, the channel that tarnishes daily the once proud reputations of NBC, Microsoft, and its corporate owner, General Electric:

You know, there’s nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of Manhattan reactionaries become confused and angry at events when they’re not quite certain what is being said. It sounds right and then it doesn’t make sense. Which, let’s be very honest about what this is about. It’s not about bashing Republicans, it’s not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don’t know their history at all. This is about hating conservatives in America. This is elitism straight up.


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