Drag a Hundred Dollar Bill through a School of Journalism

James Carville once shockingly demonstrated the left's disdain for the morals of the poor, saying, "Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find." In truth, you can buy whatever you want much more easily if you drag that bill through a School of Journalism.

CNS reports that George Soros has seeded such schools at the University of Southern California and the University of Wisconsin to create shock troops for the now shelved FCC plan to monitor (bully) the media into acting as even bigger megaphones for the administration and Democratic Party than they already are:

Two schools were working with FCC on the project, according to Byron York of The Washington Examiner. The University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy, were tasked by the FCC with coming up with criteria for what information is "critical" for Americans to have. The FCC study would have covered newspapers, websites, radio and television, according to The Washington Post.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison got a whopping $1,672,397 from Soros between 2000 and 2012. The university also offers OSI-sponsored grants, scholarships and fellowships. Friedland also heads Madison Commons, a liberal journalism group "powered by" the university's School of Journalism. Madison Commons, in turn, is a project of the university but supported in part by American University's J-Lab. AU, including its Cairo campus, has received $588,395 from OSF since 2008. [editor's note: This contention is mistaken. American Univeristy of Cairo is not related to American University in Washington, DC; nonetheless AU has gotten money from Soros foundations over the years, although the total reported here is probably incorrect owing to the iunclusion of AUC. Hat tip: Adam Keiper]

On top of the 1st Amendment problems with this proposal, the schools involved have strong ties to liberal billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundations and have gotten more than $1.8 million from the organization since 2000.

The journalism programs at these schools have even more ties to Soros besides their funding, including faculty members writing for university-based publications allied with Soros-funded outlets.

The schools have collaborated on this project going back at least to 2012. Lewis A. Friedland, who was a "principle investigator" for the FCC on this project, also directs the Center for Communication and Democracy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He gave a presentation at Annenberg in Feb. 2012, on "communication ecology." This was just four months before the schools presented their findings to the FCC.

Tracking the $8.5 billion Soros-foundation world is challenging because he funds so much and many of those organizations then partner or even fund one another.

Of course, this now suspended FCC program was something of a lily-gilding operation. The media has already abandoned its watchdog role. No one has documented this fail better than did the Anchoress (Elizabeth Scalia) this week. In response to Howard Kurtz' query about what the FCC was thinking when it proposed this plan, she answered trenchantly:

"What are they thinking?" Mr. Kurtz, it's pretty obvious; they're thinking no one in the mainstream press has asked them a difficult or challenging question in 7 years, so why would they start now.

1. They're thinking an obsequious press that couldn't be bothered to sustain outrage over intrusions into its own phone and internet records won't have a problem with the government parking itself into the newsroom.

2. They're thinking that if the mainstream press could forgive them for considering espionage charges against a member of the press -- for doing what reporters are supposed to do -- and then re-commence their habitual boot-licking, there is no real risk of media folk suddenly calling out a "red line", or even being able to identify one.

3. They're figuring that with this president, the mainstream media has no idea what "a bridge too far" might mean. Nor, "abuse of power"; nor "cover-up"; nor "mendacity", "incompetence", "ineptitude" or "constitutional illiteracy."

4. They know that half the people in the newsroom are either married to (or social buddies with) influential members of this government, and that everyone is all comfy and nicely settled in for the revolution.

They know that the press willfully surrendered its own freedoms some time ago, in the interests of ideology, and so they really won't mind a little editorial supervision from the masters.

I'm not a Washington Post newsroom editor, but were I, I'd have thought that the big news this week is that so many Democrat Congressmen are running from ObamaCare -- and the president -- as the election nears. I'd have considered that the events in Thailand, Venezuela, and the Ukraine were so quickly overturning the established order and were so indicative of popular sentiment against corruption and tyranny that they merited a great deal of coverage. Instead we got three articles about nothingburger star chamber proceedings in Wisconsin, a partisan witchhunt that turned up nothing and will turn up nothing. Would, for starters, that the same attention were paid to Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation's doings, Hillary's constant lying, the politicizing of the IRS, Fast and Furious, or the large uptick in casualties occasioned by the administration's incoherent and feckless foreign policy in the Middle East.

Were I the editor of the New York Times, I'd not have bothered with the sad tale of expensively overcredentialed and undereducated young adults living with their parents while waiting for unpaid internships at nonprofit organizations (which often grossly overpay their officers).

Thomas Lipscomb likens them to Miss Havisham of Great Expectations -- their standards are too high to work for money.

The article is a tribute to frivolous, self-indulgent thinking and a black mark on parents who consider their children too special to take entry-level jobs, the only positions for which they are suited no matter how much in debt they put their families to obtain useless degrees. These parents would rather say their kids are working as interns (for nothing) than stacking tee shirts at The Gap (for pay), I suppose. Though some (foolishly, I think) are now filing lawsuits claiming they should have been paid for what they agreed to do for nothing. Foolishly, because it's unlikely any creative agency will hire them after that move and even those desired no-pay jobs will disappear if the suits succeed. In truth, they are working for nothing because that's what they are worth in the real market.

While the idea of slaving away in two, three or four quasi jobs without a clear path for advancement may seem unimaginable to an older generation, those in their 20s seem to respond to their jobless fate with a collective shrug. To them, internships are the new normal. "For some people, being an accountant, taking a safe route, is perfectly fine, but that's not where my values lie," Ms. Thomas said.

This is especially true in more creative fields, whether it is filmmaking or publishing. "It's fashion," said Dawn Joyce, 24, when asked why she has gone through four internships since 2010. Those include unpaid stints at a major fashion magazine, where she mingled with Zooey Deschanel and Julianne Moore at photo shoots, and at a public relations firm, where she held front-row seats for late-arriving celebrities like Selena Gomez. "I consider myself to be pretty jaded already."

"I have seen a lot of people beside me quit," Ms. Joyce added. "It's sort of like, 'Let's see who lasts the longest.'"

As their ranks have swelled, interns are beginning to see themselves as part of a special class, albeit one with few privileges and perks. They share their own brand of gallows humor, their own pride of purpose and their own battle-hardened worldview tinged with a risk-taker's optimism.


In some cases, however, the intern revolt may be backfiring.

Last October, Condé Nast announced that it was ending the internship programs within its 25 magazines, which means that 20-something aspiring magazine editors will have one less place to get a toehold for their "meaningful" careers.

"Can you hear it?" one commenter wrote on a WWD article about the ending of internships. "It's my dream of a Vogue internship going straight out the window."

Maybe the Washington Post and New York Times should consider unpaid editorial internships. It would provide more Millennials with an opportunity to display the same creativity with the news as the present editors and at the same time would reduce labor costs for these failing enterprises.