David Brooks: The Man of Constant Sorrow

"You can't handle the cocktail party!"

I've got to admit, I am a little amazed by today's steaming load of awesome from Establishmentarian Testicle Cozy Number One, David Fucking Brooks.

I mean, after publicly soiling his Factotum Underoos by energetically interposing himself between Journalism and Power on behalf of Power -- and being thoroughly dismantled down to his constituent Neocon atoms in a variety of places including here and here -- a lesser handmaiden to the plutocracy might have limped off and hidden under the Pundit Porch to lick his wounds and write incredibly shitty columns about other things for awhile.

But Bobo is no lesser handmaiden. Bobs doesn't get paid that Big New York Times/NPR/PBS/NBC Cake to cut and run when the sycophancy gets tough.

Instead, in his "conversation" with Gail Collins (links below), DFB went all in, leading off with the same excuse offered by every collaborators, quisling and toadies since the dawn of time; the same, filthy alibi with which the bestial Noah Cross absolves himself of his horrifying crimes to Jake Gittes in Robert Towne's "Chinatown":
You may think you know what you're dealing with, but, believe me, you don't.

Then Bobo squared his shoulders, squinted his puckered rat-sphincter eye-holes out of which his soul, his self-respect and his professional integrity escaped year ago and unloaded what could only be described as a full-throated attack on journalists who report on the actual things powerful people say and do, and a spirited defense of being a stooge and a yes-man.

If you can stomach it, those whole thing is here.

I had to read it twice -- carefully -- before it sunk in that it was not a soaring, searing parody of a David Brooks column, but his own real words, transcribed just as he spoke 'em. He really did write this:
"Most people in public life are in it for the right reasons. They’re representing a point of view or a group. ...I find the most accurate approach is to view them with sympathetic scrutiny but rarely outright scorn."
And this:
"...It is true that when you interview people you do develop relationships, and there is some pressure not to burn the people you admire and rely on.

Nonetheless, I think the deal is worth it for the reader."
And this:
"Pundits who don’t do interviews often speculate on what is happening, but they usually don’t know what they are talking about. I’ll read some theory by a pundit about why something is happening, and I know it’s complete hokum because I just spoke with the people who are doing it.
And this:
"You can’t understand the flux of forces unless you are inside the conversation."

I mean, how could Shakespeare have written "Macbeth" without being a member of the royal court? How could Hunter Thompson have banged out "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail" without being a Pat Buchanan confidant? How could Woodward and Bernstein have assembled "All The President's Men" without being on Nixon's BFF List? How could Royko have penned "Boss" without being a member of Richard Daley the First's inner circle?

How can anyone but a dutiful and admiring camp follower understand what happens when a weak and corruptible human nature intersects with great power?

In other words...

Son, we live in a world that has plutoctats. And those plutoctats have to be guarded by men with newspaper columns.

Who's gonna do it? You, driftglass? You, Taibbi?

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Journalism and you curse professional cum dumpsters like me. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Journalism's death, while tragic, probably makes the Ruling Class incrementally more powerful. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, makes the Ruling Class incrementally more powerful.

You don't want the to go to that cocktail party, because deep down, in places you don't talk about on your Journalism Listservs you want me at that cocktail party.

You me need me there.

We use words like craven, stenographer, Villager...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending entrenched interests.

You use 'em as a punchline.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to employees who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very ad revenue I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said "Thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a cocktail weenie and go grope a Senator. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.

Meanwhile, in another Universe not far from this one, David Brooks is making a handsome living writing cheery press releases for Noah Cross.