July 25, 2019

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: Howard Fineman: Why does it make people so mad to see political elites and media elites hobnobbing at a Georgetown cocktail party?

It’s almost suspiciously perfect. The dictionary definition of an elitist Washington cocktail party becomes reality — just hours after Democrats’ big Mueller impeachment show turns out to be a total dud, with Pelosi seemingly evincing not a care in the world?

And the party was being thrown to celebrate a book about Supreme Court confirmation fights, a subject on which Senate Democrats have failed spectacularly not once, not twice, but three times in the span of three years? And there’s Chuck Schumer, also seeming to be having a grand old time?

And the journalist hosting it just so happens to have been the conduit for Pelosi’s recent trash talk about the left’s heroes, the Squad?

It’s as if this image was forged in some populist lab, a deepfake designed to encourage the total overthrow of the Democratic establishment.

The reaction on Twitter from both sides was swift and brutal and foreseeable to everyone in the universe. Except, somehow, to the man who posted it.

“All establishments are hated.” Any theories why?

This fellow might have some thoughts:

A political party is dying before our eyes — and I don’t mean the Democrats. I’m talking about the “mainstream media,” which is being destroyed by the opposition (or worse, the casual disdain) of George Bush’s Republican Party; by competition from other news outlets (led by the internet and Fox’s canny Roger Ailes); and by its own fraying  journalistic standards. At the height of its power, the AMMP (the American Mainstream Media Party) helped validate the civil rights movement, end a war and oust a power-mad president. But all that is ancient history.

* * * * * * * *

The crusades of Vietnam and Watergate seemed like a good idea at the time, even a noble one, not only to the press but perhaps to a majority of Americans. The problem was that, once the AMMP declared its existence by taking sides, there was no going back. A party was born.

—“The ‘Media Party’ is over,” Howard Fineman, MSNBC, January 13, 2005.

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