SUBJECT: ERIC ALTERMAN
It's often said by the media elite themselves-- journalists at the New York Times, for instance-- that they're notably more objective and informed than outsider bloggers.
Meanwhile, we see that establishment journalist Eric Alterman is gaining attention for a column in The Nation which refers to half the Republican Party-- the populist half, naturally-- as idiots, liars, and lunatics. The column is little more, in fact, than name-calling. One looks for an actual argument, buttressed by logic-- one seeks for a smidgen of objectivity-- and finds instead ranting and sophistry.
(It should be noted that Alterman was known in the past for his virulent attacks on Ralph Nader, of all people.)
Eric Alterman is an Insider's Insider. B.A. from Cornell, M.A. in International Relations from Yale, Ph.D from Stanford, he worked early in his career as a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York City and Washington D.C. His entire career has taken place within the top 1% intellectual aristocracy. As a result, his solutions for anything are tops-down, institutional solutions.
Alterman claims his education has given him "historical context for understanding what is going on."
Yet his arguments are absent an understanding of history. For instance, of the trend in the 1930's toward managed economies and away from liberal democracies, shown in a variety of countries. Even the most idealistic of these movements, the Popular Front under Leon Blum in France, was, from an economic standpoint, an abject failure. Not until France freed up its economy in 1939 did it revive. Too late, it turned out, to save it in a war with two managed economies, who went to war in large part because their own economies, after initial success, were quickly going bankrupt.
In other words, in the long-run, managed economies don't work and have never worked. (See the Soviet Union.)
The great irony right now is that the solutions advocated by Alterman's "idiots" is the solution, with all its many flaws, of liberal democracy. A Sarah Palin is classically liberal in her thinking, a small-d democrat all the way.
The media elite will always be against populists of either party, Nader or Palin, and for those who represent the interests of the centrist establishment, which stands for institutionally-based tops-down power and thought, be it from the "Left" or the "Right." Eric Alterman, like others at The Nation (owned and edited by an heiress to a billion-dollar fortune) would never wish for true change in this country; to disturb or destroy the nation's hierarchies, because he's a product of those hierarchies. He's as fearful of the amorphous uncontrolled "mob" as is Ann Coulter. They're raised, educated in, and dwell in elite bubbles. Usually, as a matter of happenstance, on the east coast, in a well-protected realm extending from Dartmouth to the Washington Beltway. It's understandable that those outside their special Eden appear to them to be demons and, well, idiots.