My dear friend, the late, great Jim Capozzola of the Rittenhouse Review, wrote this in 2003 and it’s still just as relevant. I’ll just excerpt part of it, but you should really read it all:
“We are the Alpha Girls!”
In stark contrast lie the Alpha Girls of the media, a clique dominated by preening and presumptuous conservatives. We are all familiar with their names, their visages, their biases, and their enlarged personas. About those that have become veritable celebrities — all too many, all of them unworthy, I might add — we know from various reports a great deal more: That Limbaugh, who lives like a fatted calf in Palm Beach, avoided military service during the Vietnam War because of a few troublesome boils on his butt; that the traditional-family-values-defining-and-mandating Schlessinger is divorced, cannot maintain civil relations with her mother or sister, was an unfaithful wife, and gleefully posed for nude photographs; and that Ingraham once shoved a running garden hose through the mail slot of the Georgetown home of a lover who spurned her unwanted attention, pulled a gun on yet another boyfriend who grew tired of her demented obsessions, and refused to let her claimed love for her openly gay brother stop her from engaging in some of the most homophobic and unethical activities of any journalist, real or imagined, of her generation.
The Alphas of the media are the big guys and gals, the heavy hitters, the swinging dicks of popular political commentary, the fever-pitched voices that have developed a supernatural ability to reduce complicated political issues to the distorted and misleading five-word sound bites they use in both their written work and in their seemingly endless television and radio appearances.
As with teenage Alphas, this is a self-perpetuating elite, one that selects and grooms its latest recruits, thus remaking themselves in their own image and likeness, aided by the largesse of cooperative foundations and ideological training camps. Worse, within this clique, nepotism is rampant and the evidence for this is abundant: Witness the otherwise inexplicable status of the unbearably mediocre Tucker Carlson, John Podhoretz, Lally Weymouth, and, of course, the aforementioned Kristol, among many others.
As for apostates, forget it. The few that have dared to break away from the Alphas — David Brock comes immediately to mind — are at best given the silent treatment, shunned in an almost officially sanctioned manner just a step shy of that accorded to Jehovah’s Witnesses who leave the fold. Beyond that, the media’s Alpha Girls, adopting the modes of action typical of snotty 16-year-old cheerleaders, subject their heretics to character assassination, scurrilous rumors, and campaigns of disinformatzia that would make the old K.G.B. blush. And, of course, the access of the disloyal to such lifelines — or gravy trains or pig troughs, if you will — as the Scaife Trusts and the Smith Richardson, Olin, Coors, Lilly, Murdoch, DeVos, and Bradley Foundations, is terminated post-haste. Only the cool kids get to party with that money!
Membership in the media’s Alpha-Girl clique varies depending upon the subject at hand and the intensity of the public’s interest in the issue, though some Alphas have achieved so much clout that their status is permanent and unquestionable: These are the Über Alphas, if you will. However, based upon the criteria established by Talbot, it’s evident that on the subject of Al Gore, these are the punditburo’s Alpha Girls:
Fred Barnes, Robert Bartley, Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter, Maureen Dowd, Paul Gigot, Jonah Goldberg, Sean Hannity, Mickey Kaus, Michael Kelly, Morton Kondracke, Howard Kurtz, Charles Krauthammer, Rush Limbaugh, Peggy Noonan, Robert Novak, Frank Rich, William Safire, Andrew Sullivan, and George Will.
Not all of the Alpha Girls are conservatives and not all conservatives are anti-Gore Alpha Girls. Some right-wing pundits have managed somehow to avoid becoming mired in the Gore Obsession. Others, while critical of Gore in the specious and sniveling form preferred by the Alpha Girls, are merely Betas, still aspiring for acceptance by the nastiest, most vicious, and most self-absorbed coterie of scoundrels the American media has ever seen.
When the subject is Al Gore, each of the pundits named here, each member of this gaggle of giggling geese can be counted upon to reveal him- or herself to be the quintessential 17-year-old Alpha Girl: immature, insecure, dishonest, manipulative, selfish, developmentally stunted, and desperate for the approval and affection of others.
These are the players. These are the purveyors and shapers of opinion today. Enjoy, America, this is your media.
2 thoughts on “The alpha girls”
The plot of the movie Heathers comes to mind . . .
Two of the voices I miss include Mr. Capazzola and Steve Gilliard; both were able to cut to the chase as well, or better, than anyone else.
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