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I am just getting around to reading Howie Kurtz‘s (second?) latest work of staggering genius on Luke Russert and I am still smarting over some of the paragraphs:
He knows what some colleagues and detractors say—that he wouldn’t be in this job if not for his last name. “I just try to really block that out,” Russert says. “The news media is a results-oriented business. I don’t think a company like NBC would pay me if I wasn’t qualified and wasn’t able to produce on this level…
He is relaxed, earnest and witty during the rare interview, granted only after months of requests (the NBC publicity team is very protective of him and discouraged me from following him while he works). On camera, though his delivery is greatly improved from his sometimes halting debut, Russert sometimes seems like a class cutup standing up extra straight and trying not to let a curse word slip. That has the effect of restraining his personality, in contrast to his father’s passionate performances.
Okay: is this kid actually the son of Kim Jong Il, and Howard Kurtz works for the Xinhua News Service? Does it really warrant this ludicrous degree of fawnellatio, even for Howie, to get access to the son of a guy who is no longer even around to pimp anyone’s books? Who is possibly the single least “deserving” personality on television? Maybe if Trig Palin got a spot on Fox, I would understand this “protectiveness” bullshit (but Trig would probably get better ratings) (and elevate the level of discourse, ha ha ha, etc. etc.)
But I don’t think you see them getting nearly so handwringy about the daddy’s connections thing over on the
plantation property owner news channel of choice. (And don’t let me forget: welcome to D.C., Peter Doocy!)
Which got me to thinking: maybe what the mainstream media world needs now is a full-on nepotism acceptance movement. We are all down enough on ourselves anyway,what with the Obama Administration’s pathetic failure to boost our ratings. What did being “self-made” ever get them, after all? Scott Brown, that is what.
Anyway, consider this the official Das Krapital launch of what I hope will be a vibrant grassroots “legacy pride” movement. Let’s end this hypocritical DADT policy and celebrate the parents who hopefully instilled in us, if not a work ethic per se, at least a modicum of noblesse oblige to go with our outsized senses of entitlement. To begin I have polled the staff WCP with these three questions. Feel free to join in and e-mail me your answers yourselves! (I’m talking to you, Mike D.B. Riggs III!)
1. What do/did your parents do that landed you this sweet gig?
2. Who was the most famous/powerful journalist you ever met that you wouldn’t have met if you were not so-and-so’s kid?
3. If you consider yourself to be relatively “self-made” as a journalist, is it because you went to a fancy school and basically everyone you know is to some degree a beneficiary of vast feats of nepotism?
4. Bonus: feel free to anonymously rat out anyone you know whose parent’s achievements and social contacts you deem to be deserving of recognition.