[Marxism] Marc Cooper: a true Annenbergian
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Dec 10 14:18:31 MST 2008
When the ultraright was pursuing a guilt by association attack on Obama
for serving on the same board of directors as “terrorist” Bill Ayers,
his supporters pointed out that it was the late Walter Annenberg who
launched the nonprofit dedicated to improving public schools whose board
they served on. Since Annenberg was Richard Nixon’s Ambassador to Great
Britain as well as a close friend of Ronald Reagan, how could anybody
accuse Ayers or Obama of being some kind of dangerous radical?
Considering the assault on public education that the Republican Party
right has led since the early 1970s, it might seem a bit of
contradiction for Annenberg to be lavishing his millions on such a
project. Of course, of your goal is to eliminate state funding of public
schools and replace them with a “thousand points of light” type
charities, then Annenberg’s largesse begins to make sense.
Annenberg became one of America’s top philanthropists in the 1980s,
using the profits of an ill-gotten media empire to finance a host of “do
gooder” projects. There is obviously a long tradition of unsavory
capitalists trying to burnish their reputation through such deeds, the
most famous example being Andrew Carnegie. If the board of directors of
Carnegie-Mellon Institute or Carnegie Hall ever thought much about their
institutions being financed by the blood money drained from the dead
bodies of steelworkers, they probably would have never ended up such a
board to begin with. Nominations to such boards are carefully vetted to
make sure that the candidates are carefully trained in the core values
of the capitalist system, evidence of which is most manifest in the
inclusion of solid citizens like Bill Ayers and Barack Obama.
Like many other members of the American ruling class, Walter Annenberg
was born rich. His father Moses “Moe” Annenberg published the Daily
Racing Form, just what one might from a career criminal who worked as a
circulation manager for William Randolph Hearst. In the circulation wars
of the early 20th century, Moe and his henchmen used “robber baron” type
tactics. Newsboys were beaten, newsstands torched, and delivery vans
overturned if they were identified as working for Heart’s competition.
Moe Annenberg was convicted of tax evasion in 1939 and his son, now a
company VP, was indicted on charges of “aiding and abetting.” In a deal
struck with prosecutors, Walter’s charges were dropped in exchange for
his father’s guilty plea.
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