Monday, July 14, 2008

Creating the right's "counterintelligentsia"

Thanks to Phoenix Woman at FireDogLake I now know the significance of that fella over to the left. Her How Did We Get The Media We Have? enlightened me on Dick Nixon's former Treasury Secretary William E. Simon. Appointed well into the Watergate mess, I'll confess his was a new name. An impressive man in many respects yet there is no denying this rascal did some serious work in getting the right wing think tank system going. Even now his legacy lives on well past hs death in 2000. And William Simon is just one of many that helped put our nation in this not so fine mess.

This NYT's op-ed (a rather gloating piece I found) from conservative John J. Miller shared the following about William E. Simon:

After becoming its (The Olin Foundation) president in 1977, Mr. Simon called for the creation of a"counterintelligentsia" to balance what he saw as the liberal dominance of the universities, the news media, nonprofit organizations and government bureaucracies. The Olin Foundation and other right-leaning philanthropies - particularly the Bradley, Scaife and Smith Richardson Foundations - provided a pool of venture capital that helped build a network of research institutions, academic fellowships and highbrow journals for the conservative movement.
Phoenix Woman also shared a piece by Robert Parry that I'd previously missed which offers at least some of the "credit" belongs to Richard Nixon. One of the many pleasures I derive from blogging is making connections and learning. I'm optimistic that many professionals at papers read (and television news programs watched) by the majority of Alabama's citizens are similarly excited.

Yet I wonder if they have the time and freedom to really dig into this mess. I continue to read right wing hacks like API's Gary Palmer and yet I've yet to find anything that challenges him or API. My own effort to do so in The Randolph Leader in the context of a LTE was cut when I tried to connect some of these dots. It surely seems like a story is all I'm suggesting.

Phoenix Woman started her post lamenting the likely fact that good Progressive leaning reporters often can't get in the door at many papers yet marginally talented partisan hacks seem to be handed position after position.

Perhaps at the local and regional levels Progressive can best push back against the right's "counterintelligentsia"? Yet the care and feeding of young Progressives is a tough piece. I've posted on Wingnut 101 almost two years ago. I'd forgotten what I still think was a clever idea of using an Ann Coulter poster as a Scare Ho in my garden. Seriously, the right is willing to invest money in bring along a new generation of true believers. And theyd likely even do it without getting a tax write off on many of their efforts.

Papers and the like are hardly a place to make a great living from what I understand. I expect those with the traits that would make them a top drawer reporter could likely cash in on those gifts in other fields. I often think about what I'd do with my money if I ever hit a big lick yet right there on top on my list would be to fund some type of foundation to identify and then develop some sharp young prospects. John Gunn

No comments: