American Royalty – Nepotism in Politics and Media
Glenn Greenwald laments the rise of “American royalty.”
They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it. They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it’s really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment. They can interview Lisa Murkowski, Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, Bob Casey, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Dan Lipinksi, and Harold Ford, Jr. about personal responsibility and the virtues of self-sufficiency. Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz can provide moving commentary on how America is so special because all that matters is merit, not who you know or where you come from. There’s a virtually endless list of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters.
Some of the examples are more egregious than others. Murkowski is the most outrageous; plucked out of nowhere to be appointed to fill her father’s vacant seat by her father. Arguably, at least, those elected to public office to follow in the footsteps of famous fathers have to stand the scrutiny, such as it is, of the voters. And Chris Wallace at least legitimately worked in the news business for years before getting tabbed to host a show. Jenna Bush and Megan McCain seem to be celebrities solely because of who their dads are.
Liz Cheney is an especially odd case. She is genuinely well qualified to comment on a variety of issues owing to having served for years in very important public policy posts. Alas, it’s doubtful whether she’d have been appointed to said posts were her last name Smith or Jones.
I’m also a bit dubious of the inclusion of Goldberg, Kristol, and Carlson on the list. Carlson and Goldberg had ever-so-modestly famous parents who presumably helped them get a foot in the door. But it’s doubtful that Carlson got on TV based on who his parents were. Nor is it obvious why being a literary agent is of great help in launching a son as a conservative pundit. Kristol’s father was a giant and certainly helped launch his son’s career but he’s not in the same category of Podhoretz, who essentially inherited his dad’s magazine.