Well, about "infotainment" that passes for news these days, anyway, and how we wound up where we're at economically:
(Howard) Kurtz: "I don’t fully know. Katie Couric may make $15 million a year, but she grew up in a middle-class family in Arlington. Brian Williams was once a volunteer fireman. Dan Rather graduated from Sam Houston State College. And it’s not just the anchors—the opinion guys, O’Reilly, Rush, Olbermann, Matthews and the like, make millions each year. Does that mean their values change, that they’re automatically out of touch? In some cases, perhaps, but I don’t think that’s universally true."
OK, seriously now - do you really think that someone who makes millions of dollars a year really has any connection with the life that you or I live?
The point of that article is that what top network news anchors are paid exceeds the entire budget for NPR's news shows 'All Things Considered' and 'Morning Edition'. Together. And it is a good point:
While doing some recent research on the news business, I came upon this remarkable fact: Katie Couric’s annual salary is more than the entire annual budgets of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered combined. Couric’s salary comes to an estimated $15 million a year; NPR spends $6 million a year on its morning show and $5 million on its afternoon one. NPR has seventeen foreign bureaus (which costs it another $9.4 million a year); CBS has twelve. Few figures, I think, better capture the absurd financial structure of the network news.
But that quote from Howard Kurtz is what really got my attention. While I think that the network anchors are probably paid according to the perceived value they bring their network (or, more accurately, the Corporation which owns the network), I just cannot buy the idea that their values and life have much of anything to do with anyone who works for a measly $25k or $50k or even $100k a year. Sorry, I just don't believe that. And I think the same is true for Hedge Fund Managers, Congresscritters, CEOs of large corporations, Megachurch Preachers, et cetera. Sorry, but they can no more understand my life than I can understand the life of a third-world beggar. That these people are 'in charge' tells you all that you need to know about why things are the way they are.
(Cross posted to UTI.)