[Above: Katy Tur and Gabriel Sherman note that some great people work at Fox News and besides, 'you gotta work.'] This post also published as "There's Always Work at the Post Office"
For some time now, I have been hearing professional media persons waxing wistful and poetic with some variation of this kind of bosh (not an actual quote):
"There are a ton of super-ooper-duper-awesome journalists at Fox News! A ton of them! And sure they're angry at how Satan is running the fascist propaganda dungheap where they work, but c'mon man, they gotta work."
It has happened often enough that I think someone should point out that when you hear such talk, you are not hearing journalists reporting the facts of a story. You are hearing pundit break-room chatter from employees... in a very small and fiercely competitive corporate media hiring/firing pool... treading very lightly... discussing colleagues across the street but in the same business. Ever wonder why Chris Hayes and Ezra Klein would go out of their way to give a career boost to the odious Ben Domenech whenever his fortunes were flagging? Or why the Kindly Doctor Maddow would riff for eight solid minutes on what a goddamn saint Greta Van Sustern was, no matter what you might have heard?
Because, as the cautionary tale of Melissa Harris-Perry demonstrated, teevee punditing is a volatile trade, driven by hidden agendas and colossal egos, which those in the business never share with us rubes. And you never know who will be holding the whip-handle the next time you have to put your resume on the street.
So as a permanent media outsider let me make this perfectly clear: if you choose to stay at Fox News in any capacity other than janitorial, don't kid yourself for a minute that you are in any way heir to the legacy of Cronkite or Murrow or Royko or Finley Peter Dunne.
You are not.
You are taking up the mantle of the likes of Michael Steele and David Brooks. Mark Penn and Juan Williams and Susan Estrich (What? Did you think we'd forget you, Susan?). You are hiring yourself out to be a beard -- to be the presentable public face of a depraved institution.
Do you think for a minute that I couldn't increase my income by an order of magnitude if I converted? If I rent my garments, renounced Saul Alinksy, and all of his works, and all his pomps? If I took up my pen to crank out the kind of glop they sling at The Federalist? Or Townhall? Or Red State?
Sheeit, I could type it with my toes while binge-watching Lost in Space with the entire F-M section of Roget's tied behind my back and still make it sing, because it's f*cking easy. Mindless. Plus I actually know my way around a microphone and cameras don't freak me out, so who knows how high up the food chain I could ascend as an Apostate Libtard who has Seen the Light of True Conservatism. Right now, through dint of grim, batshit persistence, Dinesh D'Souza's net worth is around $4 million dollars. You think that we at The Professional Left couldn't match that if we joined Team Evil, and without the felony rap and those pesky ankle monitors? You think that if we set "we gotta work" as our highest virtue and screw the morality of what we do, that we couldn't spend the rest of our days supping comfortably at the Wingnut Welfare trough between Jerome Corsi and Michelle Malkin?
But instead we put out the tip jar and hope for the best.
Because I'll bag groceries and deliver papers first. I'll beg in the goddamn street first. Because working for madmen and monsters who you know damn well are bent on evil purposes -- madmen and monsters whose business model is deliberately destroying the integrity of your chosen profession -- is inexcusable.
So quit. Now. Today.
Because you're being paid in blood money, kid.
And that shite never washes off.