Arguably, the greatest newspaper columnist of the modern media era, or at least the newspaper era, was H.L. Mencken. He’s ignored these days because he was a realist about the great questions of his day. He opposed entry into both wars and he was a race realist. Back then, the ruling class still debated this stuff and the commentariat welcomed all views. America was still a country that trusted itself. Today, deviationists are hurled into the void because the people in charge are petrified of anything resembling dissent.
The opinion writers in the modern mass media are all pens for hire. Their job is to sell the glories of their masters. For example, all of the NeverTrump loons that turned up in so-called conservative publications were being payed by a couple of billionaires. They never bothered to admit it, but it is the thing everyone knows. The left-wing Progressives are similarly funded by billionaires, with the most obvious examples being the New York Times and the Washington Post. The news business is just a PR department now.
Like so much of modern America, the business of selling the public on the glories of the plutocrats has become a racket. A good recent example is something called the R Street Institute, started and run by someone calling himself Eli Lehrer, who is something of a universal man. He has published in far Left publications like the Huffington Post and on so-called conservative sites like National Review. Even in our corrupt age, it seems like a stretch for someone to have an audience in both publications, but there we are.
R Street pitches itself as a free market think tank, hoping people will mistake them for libertarian or conservative. An amusing bit of their pitch is this line on their site. “To maintain its independence, R Street accepts no government funding.” This is part of the grift being run on the public these days. If the entity depriving you of your rights or robbing you of your income is a private entity, then it is all good. After all, only communists oppose private enterprise! As long as you are not murdered by the state, it’s all good.
Of course, The R Street Institute is just another racket. That may be why they picked the name, as a nod to the fact they are running a grift. When you start to dig around into the background of the place, it is not long before you stumble upon neocon grifters like David Frum and Marni Soupcoff. These people are like a drug resistant virus. No matter how many times they are chased off the stage, they keep coming back. It seems America will have to be tented and fumigated before these pests are finally eradicated.
That’s really the way to look at them. Over the last year or so, mainstream publications have been posting stuff from writers with the R Street label. This one on the American Greatness site is a good example. That site is famous for having hosted Michael Anton, the guy who wrote the Flight 93 column. The subtext of this article is that the sorts of people attracted to nationalism and populism are very bad people, but they’re losers and going the way of the dodo so stop fighting the poz.
The writer is a hired pen for a globalist front group called the Institute for Liberty, which was one of the establishment operations that crushed the Tea Party movement. Once it became clear that the natives were restless and ready to try something new, all of the establishment rackets swung into action to “help” the grassroots organize. To the surprise of no one, but the sincere people forming Tea Party groups, these establishment groups co-opted the whole thing and made sure they were never a threat to the orthodoxy.
You see the same sort of shenanigans with the R Street racket, except it is a neocon front group, rather than a Republican racket. Since neocons are toxic everywhere but Washington, they are now trying to fade into the background of left-libertarianism, where they can try to subvert nationalism and populism, without being obvious. Still, it is a stable of pens for hire who will provide content for cable shows and websites, all with the subtext that serves the interests of their paymasters. It’s a racket for the opinion rackets.
To circle back to where we started, a century ago America could have a raucous and combative press corp, along with razor-tongued columnists like Mencken, because the people in charge were confident. Today’s ruling class is so culturally disconnected from the North American economic zone that they live in fear of what is brewing below the cloud line. They hire armies of propagandists and censors to police the Dirt People for deviationism. The result is a commentariat that speaks to no one for no one.
It’s easy to get down over the endless censorship and obnoxious proselytizing we see in ads and entertainment. It’s important to keep in mind that they are not doing this because they are confident. They are doing it because they are afraid. If their product could sell itself, it would not need enforcers and pitchmen. The Cloud People in their castles are living in fear that the natives may becoming aware. Otherwise, they would have no reason to be pushy dragoons to attack anyone who dares question the orthodoxy.