[Marxism] Nepotism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 31 13:50:54 MDT 2008


NY Times, July 31st, 2008
NBC Hires Luke Russert as a Correspondent
By Brian Stelter

The late “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert’s imprint will remain 
with NBC News for some time to come: his son Luke will serve as a 
correspondent at large for the network.

The elder Mr. Russert, 58, died of a heart attack on June 13. He 
frequently mentioned Luke, his only son, in television appearances.

The younger Mr. Russert’s first assignment will be at the Democratic 
National Convention in Denver at the end of August and at the Republican 
National Convention in St. Paul at the beginning of September. A 2008 
Boston College graduate, he will focus on youth issues for NBC.

“Never before in an election cycle has so much attention turned to the 
youth vote, and Luke will bring a unique perspective to covering it,” 
Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, said in a statement.

Before his father’s unexpected death in June, Mr. Russert already had 
extensive media experience. For two years he has co-hosted an XM radio 
show with the political pundit James Carville. Two weeks after his 
father died, he appeared on “Larry King Live” and discussed the dramatic 
rise in the number of young people who are showing interest in this 
year’s election.

“The availability of the Internet has allowed kids to be very engaged in 
the political process and also be very educated,” he said on CNN. “I 
myself am a religious reader of political Web sites, as are a lot of my 
friends.”

Mr. Russert will continue to cover youth issues after the November 
election, an NBC spokeswoman said.

---

July/August 2003 Atlantic Monthly

Americans censure nepotism on the one hand and practice it as much as 
they can on the other. There's much to be said for "good" nepotism, the 
author argues—which is fortunate, because we're living in a nepotistic 
Golden Age

by Adam Bellow
In Praise of Nepotism

For almost two years leading up to the November 2000 elections, 
expectations focused on Vice President Albert Gore Jr. and Texas 
Governor George W. Bush. Both were the sons of important political 
families. Their rivalry sparked an immediate interest in the "return" of 
political dynasties.

Gore, an able and hardworking politician, was described as a child of 
privilege whose public career had begun literally at birth, when his 
father persuaded the local paper to carry the news on its front page. 
After twenty-four years of government service Gore had compiled an 
impressive record. Bush, too, was a talented politician, a two-term 
governor who had smoothly assumed control of his father's political 
network. Yet he suffered even more from the "silver-spoon" label. 
Following closely in his father's footsteps without equaling his 
accomplishments, Bush seemed derivative, uncertain: a bad copy of his 
father. For many, he was aptly described by a comment aimed at the 
senior Bush in 1988 by the Texas commissioner of agriculture, Jim 
Hightower, now a radio personality: "He is a man who was born on third 
base and thinks he hit a triple."

Many people were offended by the idea that the presidency could be 
claimed as a birthright, as though it were family property. But others 
saw in Bush the authenticity Gore lacked, suggesting that the rebellious 
youth who eventually accepts mature responsibilities is better liked and 
trusted than the dutiful son who suppresses his true inclinations in 
order to please a demanding father. In effect, then, the 2000 election 
was a referendum not on the validity of dynastic succession in a 
democracy but on which kind of successor we prefer. The Prodigal Son won 
out over the Dutiful Son. The glad-handing frat boy defeated the 
humorless wonk.

No sooner had Bush taken office (thanks partly to the decision of a 
Supreme Court dominated by Reagan-Bush appointees) than he began doling 
out appointments to relatives of other leading Republicans. Michael 
Powell, the son of Secretary of State Colin Powell, became chairman of 
the Federal Communications Commission. Elaine Chao, the wife of Senator 
Mitch McConnell, became Secretary of Labor. Chao's chief labor attorney, 
Eugene Scalia, is the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and 
Justice William Rehnquist's daughter went to Health and Human Services. 
Elizabeth Cheney, the Vice President's daughter, became a deputy 
assistant secretary of state, and her husband became chief counsel for 
the Office of Management and Budget. In a crowning act of nepotistic 
chutzpah, Bush acceded to Senator Strom Thurmond's request that he 
appoint the twenty-eight-year-old Strom Thurmond Jr. U.S. attorney for 
South Carolina.

Helen Thomas, the former UPI Washington correspondent, declared in a 
column that the Bush Administration had become "a family affair, reeking 
of nepotism." (Nepotism is often said to reek, as though it were a pile 
of dirty laundry.) "You'd think an administration headed by the son of a 
former president might be a teensy bit leery of appearing to foster a 
culture of nepotism," Andrew Sullivan wrote in The New Republic. 
Sullivan produced a long list of people who had gotten jobs in 
Washington through such connections, and concluded, "All this nepotism 
is a worrisome sign that America's political class is becoming 
increasingly insular."


full: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200307/bellow




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