Media Double Standards

On this website we occasionally draw attention to the way that the Media Class and its Leftist constituents orchestrate public outrage over the financial remuneration of leaders of industry and commerce. We constantly remind readers of the power of the Media Class to point the finger at others and in the process keep the spotlight off itself. This power has business leaders quaking in their boots and we should not be surprised if many richly rewarded CEO’s do all they can to toady to important Media people and to the Media Class in general.

It is extremely difficult to stand outside of the Media’s pervasive influence. We are bombarded with “news” of Media peoples’ dating habits, latest albums, social events, romantic tiffs and political pronouncements, all of which are awarded headlines and column inches alongside such things as the war against terrorism and the state of the economy. Inexorably we have all become accustomed to the great importance of the Media people. Thus Katie Couric’s move from NBC to anchor CBS “Evening News” became the US news for several days, first with the speculation and then with the finale. We have to remind ourselves that in reality she only communicates news, albeit with a Leftist bias. It is worth noting here that Katie’s remuneration has been rumored to be around $15m per year. We say “rumored” because we have no way of knowing what her total pay deal amounts to.

It is instructive that the Media Class awards itself so much publicity and makes itself our daily news except when it comes to such things as taxpaying and giving to charities. At that point it becomes selective in what it investigates and publicizes. Thus we are made very much aware of how much Bush and Cheney earn, pay in taxes and give to charity, as though the facts were scandalous, but not given comparable information about Elton John or Bono or other celebrities who promote the Leftist political and social agenda. Of course, sometimes we are told of a star’s gift to some cause, but it is rarely in the context of overall income and tax payments. Since Media people are so keen that the rest of us should pay ever more taxes for the causes they espouse (African poverty, AIDS, Third World Debt write-off, free pre-school), it might seem appropriate that we be told how much they themselves sacrifice and from what size income.

In the USA, the Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a new regulation that would require corporations to reveal salary details of top employees. At present, the rules apply only to CEOs and the top four highest paid officers of any company. These proposals, although designed to provide more transparency to investors about how companies spend their money, would also impact Media companies and would lead to us all knowing what top stars earn, as well as many film directors and producers. Not that anyone would actually be identified as a result of this regulation, but God forbid we should get an idea of what Media people cream off. As one report in the Wall Street Journal said ” Nowhere are stars with huge paychecks more plentiful than in entertainment. But despite the industry’s reputation for flaunting wealth, detailed information on the compensation of a big-name entertainment figure is rare. In addition to a salary, top earners often receive bonuses, stock and perquisites-extras that are usually protected by extensive confidentiality clauses in contracts”

Clearly these champagne Leftists, always wanting to increase our taxes to pay for their pet causes, are coy about their own finances. Already, the movie studios are lobbying the SEC to forget this proposal and such is Media Class power that the SEC will likely give way.

Recently, in a Journal Opinion Page piece aptly entitled “Green-Nosing”, Judith Dobrzynski drew attention to the way more and more CEO’s of US companies are making big donations of company assets to “good ” causes. She specifically mentioned Hank Paulson of Goldman Sachs. Her point, and it is a telling one, is that he used other people’s capital (stockholders) to indulge his own preferences. In this case it was all about nature conservancy in Chile, but Ford’s CEO (refer to the American Family Association website) has been extremely generous to homosexual causes with Ford money and many other CEO’s are doing the same. They all have glib and shifting explanations for their largesse with stockholders’ assets, including creating general goodwill (environmental) and targeting a minority that has great spending power (homosexuals). None of the rationales are supported by evidence, but it is a safe bet that these gifts do buy Media Class approval both for the companies and for their CEOs. In response to Dobrzynski’s article, Paul Newman, the longtime Leftist actor felt compelled to write a long letter to the Journal in which he revealed he was “founding co-chair of the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, an international forum of more than 120 CEO’s and Chairpersons”. He was particularly stung by her charge that corporate philanthropy might be “far more aligned with social ambitions than with shareholder interest”. In his last paragraph, Newman revealingly mentions “I have known Hank for a long time”. In signing off, Newman reminds us that he is an “Academy Award-Winning Actor”.

We can all rest assured that Goldman Sachs and Ford will be treated much more sympathetically in the Media than Wal-Mart, which gets an unrelentingly bad press. Clearly Wal-Mart needs to start donating money to homosexual or other favored Media causes and its CEO should get on first name terms with one or two Hollywood Leftists.

One of the features of a ruling class is that ambitious people in a society, eager for status or gain, do all they can to be associated with its members. We should not be surprised when we see Media people being treated as though they are the new aristocracy. They are!

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