Our "Working Class" Press

A lot of inside the beltway talking heads and journalists have claimed a special understanding of working class Pennsylvania voters lately.

They say they understand working class Pennsylvanians because they come from Pennsylvania themselves. Or because their fathers belonged to a union. Or worked in a factory. Or drank beer. Or owned a gun. Or bowled.

I would submit that if, as a journalist, you have to explain your working class bona fides, then you probably don't have working class bona fides. That if you're commenting on working class voters in the national media, your perspective may be somewhat distorted by all those tax brackets between you and your subject.

Intellectual honesty is a diaphanous thing. And while they're sneering at the candidates for stopping to bowl, or have a beer and a shot in front of the cameras, some journalists have no qualms about reinventing themselves - recalling childhoods misspent on the mean streets of West Chester. Or Levittown. Or some other middle class place.

It all borders on disingenuity. And triggers a question or two:

In selflessly leaving Manhattan or Georgetown to go off into the wilds of Pennsylvania and interpret all things working class for the rest of us, did such people actually tell us what happened?

Or did they subliminally filter their coverage and analysis through a comfortable fiction they created for themselves?

All signs point to analysis through comfortable fiction. When they report from Crawford Texas, they wear cowboy boots that have never been in the proximity of real bovine-generated manure. When they report from Pittsburgh, they wear freshly-starched blue collar values.

They can't help it. Like the high school cool kids they were, they climb into the fashion du jour and anoint themselves arbiters of truth writ large and small.

Yea verily, no one gets to the White House but that they go through this throng.

And still they preen. And posture. And diddle. And while they diddle, real working class America burns.