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Is Fred Barnes An Elitist?

Reported by Priscilla - May 7, 2008 -

Fox prides itself on being the news network for the American "heartland." It's choice of material and political orientation is definitely a "fanfare for the common man." Even the graphics are an homage to those "folks" to whom Fox directs its propaganda meant to divide it's audience from other folks who are equally American. It is apparent that much of the "commentary" on Fox is meant to denigrate those Democrats whom Fox is painting as "elite" and "out of touch." Certainly, Barack Obama's "elitist" comment got a lot of play on Fox. From Hannity's anti-academia to O'Reilly's black list of "secular progressive" cities like "elitist" San Francisco, Fox would appear to be pandering to those who aren't "limousine liberal," latte drinking, left wingers looking down at the masses. So that's why Fred Barnes comments, on last night's Fox election coverage were so shocking!!!!

It started when Brit Hume asked the panel to discuss the role of the "downscale" voters. He laughingly added that Beltway Boy Fred Barnes thinks that all those who support Hillary Clinton are downscale. When he asked Barnes to elaborate, Fred said that he would "when he stopped chuckling." He continued to laugh while he explained that working class is really a "euphemism" for "lower class" which, according to Barnes consists of those with lower class, lower education, and lower income. The reason why the term "working class" is used, according to Barnes, is because describing these people as low class is "mean." When Hume asked if he was talking about social class, Barnes said "that, too." Mort Kondracke jumped in to say that union people and working people were middle class. Fred continued to laugh. (Kristol didn't say a word; but it was clear that he was amused.) Hume, laughing, said that "We’re all for working families particularly, and those of you who are working families out there, we appeal to you to bear with us.”

Well, hardy ha, ha. While these folks are not being described as "angry" and "clinging to guns and religion," they are being laughingly described as "low class" poor people with a lack of money and education. Working class Fox viewers must be surprised (and flattered) to know that they're really "low class."

Fred Barnes, most likely, does quite well between his Fox gig and his editorship of the "Weekly Standard" He lives in Alexandria where, in 2005, 40% of homes were worth over $556,000 and medium family income is $102,388. As a conservative, he can't be a "limousine liberal" (he has bragged about his fleet of large SUV's though). But his elitist comments show that elitists can be Republicans and that the America of Fox's "America's newsroom" is, according to an amused Fred Barnes, "low class."

Think Progress has the first video. Talking Points Memo has the first video as well as the video of the Fox panel follow up discussion.