In early 2005, James Lileks neatly summarized how the MSM views the bulk of its consumers in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 election:
Once upon a time the major media at least pretended that the heart & soul of the country was a porch in Kansas with an American flag. Now it’s the outlands, the Strange Beyond. They vote for Bush, they believe in God, they’d have to drive 2 hours for decent Thai. Who are these people?
Victor Davis Hanson knows. “I’ve discovered there is an unofficial oddball club out there — of which I am a member. It is of no particular political persuasion, but clearly at variance with the norms of popular culture:”
Hypocrisy does not enrage the odd-ball club member. We casually expect to meet friends who hate charter schools, want more vast sums for public education, praise enforced diversity—and keep their kids in fast-track to college, apartheid neighborhoods and private prep schools—like the president himself, for example. There is nothing at odds with wanting both a federal take-over of health care, and expensive granite counters, stainless steel appliances and pine floors in the kitchen. We accept that crusader Rahm Emanuel made $16 million on Wall Street, that a fat cat banker is now Obama’s chief of staff, and that Obama raised more money from Wall Street in general and BP and Goldman-Sachs in particular than any candidate in history—and that as soon as he is reelected in 2012 he will go back to them/us blame-gaming with those above $250,000 who don’t give money to his causes as the proverbial kulaks. Life goes on…
Odd-ball clubbers don’t watch network news anchors, or read the New York Times, or watch much PBS news or hear NPR commentary. We accept that all such media at times have first-rate coverage and in-depth disinterested analysis, but such nuggets now exist buried beneath tons of slag and it is just too arduous and painful to mine them out. We all know that the U.S, unlike Scandinavia and the UN, is not perfect, but it is annoying to be sermonized about that supposedly original fact 24/7. Worse, there is a sort of deer-in-the-headline fright in a Katie Couric segment or a New York Times op-ed that suggests that even they sense the gig is up and watchers and readers are fleeing. Being pompous is one thing, being pompous and frightened is another.
We don’t listen to rap, since we don’t blaspheme women, use the N-word, or resent the police. We don’t go out to many movies, given the usual choice between yuppie, metrosexual pyschodramas and the latest corporate or CIA conspiracy uncovered by a crusading George Clooney or Pocohontas android. I suppose after a half-century we do not need to be reminded that our ancestors were racist, sexist creeps whose untold sacrifices mysteriously did not lead to our present affluence. Ditto evening television. Some scripts, we suppose in theory are well-written, but most are simply southern California and New York ministry of truth efforts to condition us about what is good (urban, upscale, gay, left-wing, promiscuous, etc.) and bad (the odd-ball).
We never got into the hope and change hysteria and feel sorry for those that did—among them a few whom we have known a long time who simply were body-snatched and joined the majority. We never took seriously Obama 1.0—as the Chicago senator to the left of Bernie Sanders in the senate—or presidential candidate Obama 2.0—the centrist healer who suddenly discovered Rev. Wright was a racist—or Obama 3.0 who damned the more affluent, appointed Van Jones and took over health care—or Obama 4.0— who writes pro-business op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, appoints a fat-cat banker as chief of staff, and believes in coal mining and gas drilling. It was all simply Nixon redux, each new Protean change to get elected to the senate or elected and reelected to the presidency.
I could go on, but you get the picture of the odd-ball club—the organization to which we do not know, and yet do know, those weirdoes who belong.
Me? I’d join, but I’m too much of a Marxist.