The Rich are Different from you and me…

So, let me get this straight. According to Victor Davis Hanson (who would know) there’s some folk out there not making their full disclosures in a timely manner:

[Peter Galbraith] . . . The son of share-the-wealth John K. Galbraith, Galbraith Minor barnstormed the air waves in the dark days of Iraq, in solemn tones predicting the end of Iraq, why Iraq must be trisected (e.g., giving the Kurds an independent country), and in general (in two books) predicting the end of constitutional Iraq. He ritually was slamming Bush, predicting ruin—all at a time when the the U.S. was trying to reassure the Iraqis we supported the territorial integrity of their country and would not abandon them. Ok, fine, well and good, it’s a free country, and pessimism is sometimes warranted.

But now we learn that a possible pay-off for opposing US policy of Iraqi unity was a stake in a Kurdish oil field worth, according to some reports, a potential $100 million. (When did stone-faced diplomats and finger-in-the-wind pundits turn into Texas-style oil tycoons or Russian oilocrats?) Why did not Galbraith from the very beginning disclose his financial interests so that his readers, other diplomats, and those who consulted him might factor his profits into his prognoses?

Italics mine – but it’s a great question. Galbraith, a big-time elite professional journalist, with influence and a wide audience, has no moral or ethical imperative to disclose his $100 Million dollar financial interests in his reportage and op-ed pieces, but we little bloggers must tag every book recommendation we make with a “disclosure” advising readers that we might make sixty cents if you buy a copy though our site? If you buy some Mystic Monk Coffee through my site, and I make a buck or two from the sale, I must disclaim my interest in the filthy lucre coming my way, but for the rich and powerful it’s all -a lofty pheh – not so important!

Well, it goes against my Irish grain to do anything under compulsion, but I’ll keep disclosing my pennies to you.

I recommend Hanson’s whole piece to you, though; it’s a glorious little exposition about the non-stop double standards the media dishout. What Democrats may do with an imperial shrug, a Republican had better not even contemplate, and so forth.

I visited the Reagan ranch yesterday—for the first time. In my 20s and 30s I remember the media mantra about the ex-governor’s getaway: Reagan’s wealthy cronies had supposedly secretly bought him in a sweet-heart-deal a Hearst Castle-like estate where he looked down at hoi polloi below and did photo-ops chopping wood. I half expected “the ranch” to be comparable to Oprah’s nearby estate.

But I was struck by the array of simple farm tools in the garage, the do-it-yourself trails and fences, the unadorned home of about 1700 sq. ft of rustic simplicity and ad-ons with basic old GE appliances, no insulation, wiring conduited onto the whitewashed walls, low ceilings, basic, unevenly settled tile floors. In terms of comfort or frills, the Western White House “ranch” was probably not comparable to “John’s room” inside the Edwards’ “Two Americas” estate, or the garage at one of John Kerry’s mansions, or Al Gore’s boathouse.

How odd that the supposed plutocratic Reagan lived like the proverbial Philemon and Baucis, while today’s populists—Gore, Kerry, Kennedy, Edwards, Rev. Wright, etc., fill in the blanks—seek to emulate Nero’s Golden House.

Read the whole thing, but Hanson forgot one: recall the (not unjustifiable) outrage regarding Armstrong Williams, who received federal compensation for writing in support of the No Child Left Behind Act:

Tribune Media Services will stop distributing columns written by conservative commentator Armstrong Williams because he received money to promote President Bush’s education programs, the company said.

Williams confirmed Friday that he received $240,000 from the Department of Education in exchange for promoting No Child Left Behind,, the centerpiece of Bush’s education agenda. Williams said the payment was merely for advertising time.

Then notice silence so thorough you can hear the crickets chirp over any mention of the Obama White House looking to use NEA monies for the promulgation of Obama-propaganda. As Ed Morrissey notes:

Former actor and present White House associate director of public engagement Kalpen Modi was directly involved in planning the controversial conference call hosted by a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) flack to encourage tax-supported artists to create propaganda for President Obama, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

We had already known of the involvement of Buffy Wicks, who was the first White House staffer implicated in the attempt to use taxpayer money to create propaganda for Barack Obama in the arts community. This shows that Wicks’ involvement was a last-minute change in the program. Wicks works for Modi, who helped stage the call but couldn’t join because of a scheduling conflict. This moves the White House involvement up the ladder a bit.

Democrats…Hollywood actors…Charles Rangel…they’re different from you and me, and the rules of outrage regarding abuse-of-power, ignorance or tax evasion simply do not apply to them. Provided they have the correct letter after their name.

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