March 30, 2013

TWO PBSs IN ONE! PBS’s Mark Shields: ‘The Rich Are the Scum of the Earth:’

MARK SHIELDS, PBS: I think it was G. K. Chesterton who said, “Wherever they are, the rich are the scum of the earth.”


SHIELDS: For some reason, Charles doesn’t want to stand up for rich Russians. And I think somebody has to stand up for people who put their money in offshore or nontaxable places. Let’s remember, I mean, look at it this way: Cyprus is the Cayman Islands of a different time zone. That’s what it is. We don’t want rich people paying taxes whether they’re Russian or whether they’re Republicans.

GORDON PETERSON: But the rich people he’s talking about …

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: You don’t think there’s a difference between the way the Russian economy works and who gets rich? Russia doesn’t have a Steve Jobs. Russia has people who steal from what was once Soviet property and you get your money if you’re a crony of Putin and his other people.

SHIELDS: I wasn’t defending how one gets it. I was just merely addressing the compulsion to keep it and never to surrender any to the public wheel.

KRAUTHAMMER: There’s a difference between gains which are ill-gotten or fairly gotten.


NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: [Groans] I’m not sure that a lot of the people that Mark is talking about who aren’t Russian got it so fairly either.

But please you wealthy people whom we just condemned, continue to sponsor our shows, and give generously during one of our seemingly weekly fundraisers. A generous pledge of $500 will bring you a $9.99 DVD of Woodstock and a PBS totebag!

Actually, the full Chesterton quote is:

“You English are an extraordinary lot,” said the Irishman, with a sudden and sombre quietude. ” I sometimes feel you may pull through after all.”

After another silence he said, ‘ You’re always right, Hump, and one oughtn’t to think of Yankees like that. The rich are the scum of the earth in every country. And a vast proportion of the real Americans are among the most courteous, intelligent, self-respecting people in the world. Some attribute this to the fact that a vast proportion of the real Americans are Irishmen.”

Modesty regarding my own heritage means that I can neither confirm nor deny the last portion of that sentiment, but it’s difficult to see anyone at PBS declaring that “a vast proportion of the real Americans are among the most courteous, intelligent, self-respecting people in the world.” I would imagine the thoughts of someone staring out from the glass windows of a PBS building into the hinterlands would be much more akin to this. Not to mention, this.

RELATED: Tales of the One Percent: “WaPo Executives Make Millions While Paper Cuts Staff, Benefits.” That seems rather “unexpectedly” paradoxical behavior from the management of a paper that supported Occupy Wall Street in 2011.

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