One key Q-and-A with Chris Hayes: We’re still looking forward to reading Chris Hayes’ new book. We were struck by one Q-and-A in this interview with Hayes, which was reprinted by Salon.
We’re somewhat unclear on Hayes’ view of the meritocratic elite. In part, that’s why we look forward to reading his book. But we were struck by the following answer in the interview, which Salon reprinted from Jacobin.
Jake Blumgart conducted the interview:
QUESTION: I want to circle back to something you said about reporting for the book. In contrast to Lasch and Michels, you come from a journalistic background. You’ve engaged with actual people while writing this book. How did that affect your perspective and work?First, let’s return to an earlier question: Who taught Chris Hayes how to talk? Progressives will never conquer the world talking about methodological toolkits and forms of content synergy.
HAYES: It’s a methodological toolkit I’ve been trained in. It’s a huge part of how I learn about the world. There’s a certain form of content synergy in so far as, you know, if the problem is social distance...I mean, look, I’m a member of the elite I’m writing about. That’s a weird and uncomfortable thing for me to say, but there is no definition of the elite, no plausible, coherent one, that I don’t belong to. I’m just as subject to the same forces, so it’s really important for me to actually talk to people. And I think reporting makes it more compelling storytelling. The book’s form is weird in a way; it’s both a reported work and a work of theory.
People, you just can’t talk like that! See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/25/12.
Beyond that, we agree with Hayes’ assessment—he is part of the modern web of ruling elites. As all humans are (to varying degrees), he is subject to the same forces as others in those elites.
With that in mind, what’s our first reform? Tell us how much you’re paid! Also, tell us how much your spouse is paid. Tell us how much your colleagues are paid—at MSNBC, for example. (Their pay suggests the level of pay you may expect to receive—if you play by the company’s rules.)
We take it as obvious that the modern elite is organized around the idea that greed is extremely good. In writing Wall Street, Oliver Stone captured the central organizing principle of the modern age.
(Why do we live in fictitious times? In large part, we live in fictitious times because greed has become very good.)
Routinely, various branches of our elite work to protect one another. Again and again, the topics which get deep-sixed in the public debate are the ones which would shed light on the looting done by elites.
(To this day, have you seen anyone explain where all that extra money is going in American health care? Have you seen any major news org explain why we spend two to three times as much on health care, per person, as comparable nations? Why has that ginormously crucial topic been skipped? Plainly, this can’t be an oversight.)
Within the press corps, inflated salaries are presumably designed to purchase obedience. Next week, we’ll look at Rachel Maddow’s most recent attempt to play it very, very dumb about Cory Booker’s stirring defense of the great good work done by Bain Capital.
Frank Rich helped her out. Maddow and Rich still had no idea why Democratic Party elites leaped to Bain’s defense. Did their ignorance strike you as plausible?
At any rate, if you want to shed light on the modern elite, Tell us how much you’re paid! While you’re at it, include the incomes of your spouse and your colleagues.
Your press corps is sick with the stench of big cash. In part, those salaries are designed to produce obedience.
It looks to us like the system works. At any rate, salaries are simple. Content synergy is hard.