The leftist trust
By Bruce Walker
Twenty years ago the New York Times bought the Boston Globe for $1.1 billion. In early August the management of the New York Times announced that it was selling the Boston Globe for $70 million, a 93% loss on its investment. No one seemed terribly upset. This highlights an aspect of Leftism which is often overlooked: it is a trust operating against the public interest in the same sense of the trusts one hundred years ago.
"Malefactors of great wealth" was a term that Teddy Roosevelt coined, but what the Left does with its monopolistic practices is far more odious than simply seeking an economic monopoly. The Left, instead, uses inherited wealth nestled in great tax exempt foundations with tax exempt status or sprawling and unaccountable academic empires or the leached wealth of information corporations like the New York Times to acquire power.
Like the notional corporate raiders so maligned by Leftists, these ideological cadres do not care one whit for the interest of the stockholders of corporations they waste to serve their ideological jihads. So what if the Boston Globe is reduced in two decades to only seven percent of its market value? Perhaps the old newspaper could have been saved by adopting a more balanced approach to the news and an even-handed editorial policy. It is certain, though, that the Leftist Trust would never allow that.
Thus we have had the scandalous situation of television news networks, whose are not suppose to conspire against the public interest and whose stations have licenses which compel them to act in the public interest utterly ignoring the lockstep ideological bigotry of their notional "rivals" and when Fox News tried to enter markets having the Left try for years to keep Fox News from local cable markets.
Even worse is what happened in entertainment broadcasting four decades ago, an underreported by vital link in the present collapse of thinking and values into the black hole of Leftism. In what is often called the "rural purge," television networks cancelled dozens of television programs with very high ratings simply because the values on those programs reflected traditional values.
Although often attributed to CBS, in fact all three networks were involved, as if in concert, and although called the "rural purge," in fact it included shows which were not set in the country or necessarily reflected rural values. As on example, The Jackie Gleason Show was cancelled, although virtually all his sketches were set in New York. Family Affair was also set in a New York apartment.
Programs which were primarily connected with wholesome themes like the love of a boy for his dog, Lassie, after seventeen years was taken off network programming. Wild Kingdom cast aside by NBS, but like many other programs found its way into syndication for a whopping seventeen more years. Mayberry R.F.D. which was the sequel series to the enormously popular Andy Griffith Show, was the fourth highest rated show for the first of its three seasons, and a very respectable fifteen highest show in the season before it was abruptly cancelled.
Gunsmoke was the longest running television show in American history when it was abruptly cancelled after the 1975 season, despite very high rating – the cast was not even informed. The Beverly Hillbillies was one of the highest rated shows in television history, with some episode - Granny confusing a kangaroo with a giant jackrabbit – had among the highest ratings of any television episodes ever.
Eventually even those performers recognized as geniuses in their craft like Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, and Andy Williams were driven from network television despite popularity with viewers. The modern malefactors of great wealth, the Leftist monopolist of popular culture, were clearly not interested in competition as much as waging war against innocent and healthy entertainment that the whole family could enjoy.
Tens of millions of Americans now regularly watch these old programs as reruns by networks which are market driven and the DVDs of these programs sell briskly. Meanwhile many of us visiting at work or at soccer games or at church note that there "…is nothing to watch on television."
It is the Left which is constantly droning on about the need for big corporations to serve the people. It is the Left which seems monopolistic conspiracies when big corporations appear to be acting in concert. It is the Left which warns that licenses issued to businesses by the government include a special responsibility of trust. The Left, it seems, does not practice what it preaches. I'm shocked – I'm sure you are too.
Bruce Walker is the author of book Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life and a contributing editor to Enter Stage Right.