Exclusive ch. 14 excerpt from Coulter’s ‘Demonic’

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Status Anxiety:
Please Like Me!

The same mob mentality that leads teenaged girls to bully another teenager to the point of suicide compels people in all walks of life to engage in all sorts of appallingly bad behavior. Usually, the fragmented conscience of a mob means violence. But there’s also a species of intellectual mob, relying on praise and ridicule to enforce its views. Many people, especially in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, would rather be punched in the face than be sneered at by the elites. We call them liberals.

The mob mentality is irresistible to people with a desperate need to
be popular, those who are perennially afraid of getting a bloody nose in
the playground of life. This is why conservatives can never be a mob.
By definition, it’s not a mob if it’s called a mob, denounced by the chat-
tering class—the media, politicians, college professors, and celebrities.
Anyone who doesn’t mind being sneered at by The Daily Show and other
temples of the status anxious is not susceptible to groupthink.
Recent studies on high school bullies found that bullying behavior
is driven by status anxiety. People with some status, but not the highest
status, bully others because of their need to climb the social hierarchy.

As the New York Times summarized the studies, bullying behavior is cor-
related with “how much the student cares about being popular.”
People who think of themselves as sophisticated professionals who
would never hiss “slut” at a girl for dating her friend’s boyfriend are
driven by the same desperate need for social acceptance. They’re just
appealing to a different in- group. As Eugene Lyons said of communist-
sympathizing liberals in the 1930s, “Under the guise of a nobly selfless
dedication they were, in fact, identifying themselves with Power.”
What most people care about is their standing in their own worlds—
not what people they will never meet might think of them. The Dixie
Chicks insult President Bush in London, not in Lubbock, Texas. The
liberal mob operates not only by terrifying nice, law- abiding Americans
with bottle- throwing lunatics, but also by imposing a powerful group-
think on public discourse. Le Bon says it is the human instinct to imitate
that makes fashion so powerful. “Whether in the matter of opinions,
ideas, literary manifestations, or merely of dress, how many persons are
bold enough to run counter to the fashion?”
Self- styled intellectuals— virtually all residents of New York City—
appeal to the imaginary New York Times editor they fantasize is listening
to their every hoary declamation; lawyers take positions that will make
them superstars at the next ABA convention; actors strike poses that
they think will make them seem intelligent and passionate.
Who cares what people in Missouri think of them? Without a flicker
of self- examination, craven suck- ups fancy themselves Thomas More
standing up to King Henry VIII, when, in fact, they are Richard Rich,
who testified falsely against More, resulting in More’s decapitation and
Rich’s promotion.
Singer Lady Gaga has bragged that she is “mastering the art of
fame,” which consists of an adolescent’s imitation of the in- crowd. The
mob demands total chaos in sexual traditions, morals, and decorum—
but fascistic uniformity when it comes to opinions. As Le Bon says, “It is
by examples not by arguments that crowds are guided.”
Gaga has made a name for herself beyond her music for support-
ing gay marriage and denouncing the Clinton- era policy of “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” in the military. For this, she has been hailed as a visionary
in the Washington Post, which called her “smarter than the average pop

star. Better read. More extensively traveled. Deeper. And she wants
you to know it.” She was ranked No. 1 on dosomething.org’s “Top 20
Celebs Gone Good,” and praised on CNN as the “most socially con-
scious celeb of 2010,” because “she called for the repeal of ‘don’t ask/
don’t tell,’ supported same- sex marriage and raised AIDS awareness.”
Never imagining the power of the mob could reach the crescendo
it has in modern America, Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1774, “Let those
flatter, who fear: it is not an American art.” By Thomas Jefferson’s lights,
sixteen- year- old Canadian singer Justin Bieber is more of an American
than native- born suck-up Lady Gaga.
When Bieber failed to pay obeisance to the mob’s position on pre-
marital sex and abortion in a Rolling Stone magazine interview, he was
roundly denounced as a jerk. Bieber told the interviewer he believed
“you should just wait” until you’re in love to have sex. But most risky for
his singing career, he said, “I really don’t believe in abortion,” because
“it’s like killing a baby.”
Bieber was promptly ridiculed by the coven on The View. MSNBC’s
Beltway blog bravely derided Bieber in an anonymous item intended to
teach Justin “about keeping your mouth shut with reporters.” It wittily
said, “Dear Biebs: You are simply adorable when talking about girls and
music, but talking politics with Rolling Stone is not a wise move. We
know you’re just a 16- year- old Canadian, but that’s all the more reason
you shouldn’t be pontificating about American politics, abortion and
And there went Bieber’s chance of ever being named the “most so-
cially conscious celebrity.”
Liberals speak with the fatuous lunacy of people in the old Soviet
Union, passing out awards to one another for imaginary heroism and de-
nouncing others for class crimes. Honesty is irrelevant— it would never
occur to them as an issue. While Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of
South Park and Team America: World Police, are mocking Scientologists,
Barbra Streisand, and Militant Islam, actors think they’re speaking truth
to power by opposing a proposition that banned gay marriage while liv-
ing in 90 percent gay Hollywood.
Someone needs to sit down with Hollywood and explain to it
what “courage” is. It is not, for example, going on CNN and ridiculing

Christians. It is not going on the Bill Maher show and being outspokenly
pro- abortion. The first tip- off should be the standing ovation. Uh oh, I
thought what I was saying was courageous, but the audience is applauding, so
it must agree with me.

Liberal logic is exactly backwards. They think: How do I know Le-
bron James just made a great shot? Answer: Because the cheerleaders cheered
They have no capacity to reason in the absence of thunderous ap-
plause or booing from the bleachers indicating what they should think.
It is so embedded in celebrities’ DNA to think whatever they do is
courageous that they begin with the conclusion and reason backwards:
Okay what that singer just said was courageous. Now how do we get there?
Oh, I know! It upset people in the red states!
Meanwhile, all traditional
signs point to it being ass- kissy.
The mob’s craving for conformity is common to all primitive beings,
Le Bon says. Look at how liberals dress alike,11 mimic their professors,
use the same leaden platitudes, and laugh on cue at prominent conserva-
tives’ names— and ask yourself if these are swashbuckling rebels.
People desperate for a badge of identity are highly susceptible to
groupthink. Most people, Le Bon says, “especially among the masses,
do not possess clear and reasoned ideas on any subject whatever outside
their own specialty.” Thus, they need someone to serve as their guide.
In a crowd, “the foolish, ignorant, and envious persons are freed from
the sense of their insignificance and powerlessness.” But the mere fact
that a person is part of a crowd means “his intellectual standard is im-
mediately and considerably lowered.”
Jon Stewart transmits the party line to idiots, who sit in the audi-
ence of The Daily Show and maniacally applaud everything he says. They
don’t get all the jokes, but they know who they’re supposed to hate. For
some people, nothing is more important than to think of themselves as
smart and hip, way better than other people. The very act of applauding
a joke— instead of laughing at it— serves no function apart from associ-
ating oneself with the crowd. Laughter is involuntary, like a sneeze. By
contrast, applauding a joke is a public gesture intended to announce, I’m
with him!
—rather like a “Heil Hitler” salute.
To truly witness the horrible spectacle of a man desperately in need
of the crowd’s approval, we turn to financial reporter Jim Cramer.

Cramer got in trouble with the mob when he criticized the angel
Obama on March 3, 2009, calling Obama’s agenda “radical” and saying
“this is the most, greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president.”
The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart— remembering that his role as a comedian
required him to do something important— began repeating the White
House line on Cramer, denouncing him for faulty financial predictions
he made on CNBC.
At that point, Cramer had to choose: Make a Damascus Road con-
version like Dennis Miller, Bernie Goldberg, and Brit Hume or go the
whimpering sycophantic route of Chris Matthews.
The day he was to appear on Stewart’s Daily Show, Cramer did a
round of appearances on NBC programs to prepare for his monumental
suck-up that night. On the Martha Stewart Show he droned on about his
tremendous support for Obama, “I happen to support his agenda. . . .
I’m a lifelong Democrat. There isn’t a part of his agenda I don’t support.”
He called Stewart his “idol” and said, “This is killing me. My kids
only know I have a show because Jon Stewart is skewering me. ‘Dad’s
got a show! Holy Cow!’ No he’s the best there is.” The boundless sy-
cophancy continued as they made a banana cream pie: “How bad is it
going to be? . . . Is he going to kill me? . . . Well, it’s his home turf so I
will pay homage. . . . Can I tell him that you said it was okay that I was
Finally, for the cherry on top, Cramer said, “The reason why it’s
been so hard for me, the attacks, is that early on I patterned my show
off of his.”
Cramer’s actual appearance on Stewart’s show was even more hu-
miliating. The opening exchange got the ball rolling:

Stewart: How the hell did we end up here, Mr. Cramer? What
Cramer: I don’t know. I don’t know. Big fan of the show. Who’s
never said that?

The key to understanding liberals is that “It is the need not of liberty,
but of servitude that is always predominant in the soul of crowds.” It’s
striking how people in thrall to groupthink will, as Le Bon says, obey

their designated leaders “much more docilely than they have obeyed any
As Stewart relentlessly badgered and insulted him, Cramer rolled on
his back, bleating, “I got a lot of things wrong. . . . I don’t think anyone
should be spared in this environment. . . . I try really hard to make as
many good calls as I can. . . . You had a great piece about short sell-
ing earlier. . . . Absolutely we could do better. Absolutely. . . . I should
do a better job at it. . . . I’m trying. I’m trying. Am I succeeding? I’m
trying. . . . How about if I try it? Try doing that. I’ll try that. . . . I’m
sorry. You’re absolutely right. . . . Look, I have called for star chambers—
I want kangaroo courts for these guys. . . . Okay. All right. You’re right.
I don’t want to personalize it. . . . True. True. I think, as a network, we
produce a lot of interviews where I think that we have been—there have
been people who have not told the truth. Should we have been con-
stantly pointing out the mistakes that were made? Absolutely. I truly
wish we had done more. . . . I wish I had done a better job. . . .”
The next day, Cramer failed to show up for his scheduled appear-
ance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, presumably because he was still show-
ering off the humiliation. The herd was ecstatic— they had forced
a loudmouthed liberal to issue obsequious, abject apologies for devi-
ating from the party line on Obama. James Fallows exclaimed in the
Atlantic, “Jon Stewart has become Edward R. Murrow” and compared
Stewart’s idiotic grandstanding to David Frost interviewing Richard
What was the point of Stewart’s holier- than- thou showboating? Cra-
mer and others on CNBC made lots of bad calls. So what? Some of their
calls were accurate and some were not. Showing video of the specific bad
calls to prove an analyst sucks is like showing video of Alex Rodriguez
striking out a dozen times to prove he’s a lousy baseball player.
It was just the ritualistic bloodletting to show that you must never
diverge from liberal group think, rather like the ceremonial execution
of the admiral in Voltaire’s Candide for the minor offense of failing to
engage a French fleet at a closer distance. His merciless execution was
necessary, Candide is told, “to encourage the others.”
Wanting the good opinion of Jon Stewart, two months after Stewart
had gone on CNN’s Crossfire back in 2004, and attacked the show for

“hurting America,” then–network president Jon Klein announced that
he was canceling Crossfire and cutting all ties to co-host Tucker Carl-
son. Klein explained that his decision to dump Carlson was inspired by
Stewart’s Crossfire appearance. “I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stew-
art’s overall premise,” he said. Carlson’s co-host, Paul Begala, was pre-
sumably as guilty of “hurting America” as Carlson, inasmuch as he was
one- half of the same debate show. But Begala was a liberal, so he was off
the hook. The problem, evidently, had less to do with the debate format
than the participation of a conservative.
Sarah Palin is catnip for very insecure people trying to make their
bones with liberal elites. If your politics are sincerely Hollywood liberal,
this is a very good time to be an American. You can make a lot of money
sneering at Sarah Palin.
No one is more desperate for acceptance by liberal intellectuals than
ex– morning show hosts whose idea of a major “get” is the co-inventor of
the Snuggie. You don’t win any points at the New York Review of Books
by dropping names like “Katie Couric” or “Charlie Gibson” around the
editorial offices. But in 2008, Couric and Gibson finally had a chance to
establish their heavy- duty intellectual bona fides by kicking Palin’s butt
in an interview. Obviously, this was important to both of them.
It’s interesting that even when driven by a penny- ante intellectual
mob, behavior activated by groupthink seems to show some of the ear-
marks of actual possession. The famous Catholic exorcist Malachi Mar-
tin reports that those in the grip of possession always speak as if they are
talking to someone else in the room. “She was speaking for the benefit
of someone else’s ear,” he said of one woman before an exorcism, “re-
peating what somebody else was telling her.” (Obviously, I’m not say-
ing Couric is possessed by the devil— even Lucifer couldn’t sit through
the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.)
The tone of both of their interviews with Palin was: You’re not as
smart as we are. This, from people whose fame was based on showcasing
winning recipes and hair care products. Thus, Gibson interviewed Mar-
sha Brooks as she prepared a prizewinning apple pie. (Gibson: “Now
one of the things Marsha did, just as soon as she found out you’d won, you
took the pies down to your local firehouse.”
) And Couric investigated the
claims of a “Twist- a- Braid” infomercial (Couric: Well, nobody has hair

like this chick, that’s for sure.) Having your intelligence questioned by
Katie Couric must be like having Michael Moore say to you, “Have you
put on a few pounds?”
Consider Couric’s question about what Palin reads. The question
wasn’t terribly interesting. It’s the sort of thing that gets posted on Face-
book, not asked of vice presidential candidates. But the point wasn’t
to interview Palin, it was to nurture Couric’s own self- esteem. In addi-
tion to national and political news, Palin probably read a lot of Alaska
newspapers, hunting news, Guns & Ammo magazine, and religious
publications and she correctly surmised that such literary preferences
wouldn’t help her with Couric’s audience, so she avoided answering the
There is hardly a person in public life who wouldn’t be embarrassed
by that question. Why wasn’t Obama asked what he reads? How about
Joe Biden? There is no question but that Palin reads more widely than
Patty Murray or Barbara Boxer— and has better reading comprehen-
sion. But a Democrat would never have been asked the question. Its
only purpose was to make Palin look stupid, coming from someone who
is herself barely hanging by a thread intellectually.
What Palin reads had nothing to do with any campaign issues. As
the most knowledgeable governor in the country on energy, Palin had
boatloads to say about the nation’s energy policy, but she was never
asked about that. The last thing the media were going to do was raise an
issue that would help the Republicans.
Gibson’s question to Palin about “the Bush doctrine” was similarly
asinine. He chose a deliberately arcane way to ask a simple question in
order to make himself look brilliant. The subject matter wasn’t obscure,
but Gibson’s label was inscrutable.
No one talked about “the Bush doctrine” the way they talked about,
for example, “WMDs” or “preemptive war.” It simply didn’t come up
in conversation. Charles Krauthammer couldn’t have answered that
question— because no one knew what “the Bush doctrine” was. Even
the Washington Post ran an article with various foreign policy experts
scratching their heads about what Gibson meant.
If Gibson really wanted to know Palin’s position on Iraq, why didn’t
he just ask, “Do you think it was legitimate to invade Iraq?” No, he

couldn’t do that: It wouldn’t have been a calculated attempt to trip her
up. Both Couric’s and Gibson’s interviews had little to do with Palin.
The ex– morning show hosts were aggressively pursuing their own agen-
das to win acceptance from their betters.
It was just like the time the no- name radio host in Boston decided
to show he was a badass by giving presidential candidate George W.
Bush a pop quiz on the names of various obscure world leaders during
the 2000 campaign. He was a star for a week . . . and then was never
heard from again. But for a brief shining moment this punk was part of
the herd! The joy!
Sarah Palin was ideal for the middlebrow obsessions of people on
the left. Professional atheist Sam Harris complained in Newsweek that
Palin “didn’t have a passport until last year.” Huffington Post editor
Roy Sekoff— who went to a single mediocre college— sneered about
“the six colleges that she attended.” Keith Olbermann thinks he’s
gotten a great dig in at Palin when he compulsively suggests a din-
ner with her would involve “a nice glass of Pinot Grigio or Mountain
This is Real Housewives snobbery— white trash acting as if they’re
jetsetters. Maybe it’s true that red- staters don’t travel as much as blue-
staters do. At least we manage not to spoil our ballots as often as Dem-
ocratic voters do. One also can’t help noticing that red- staters aren’t
terrifi ed of literacy tests, as the Democrats are.
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (musical theater major, Syracuse Univer-
sity) cannot write a script without a moment when some character asks,
“Why are people resented because they are more intelligent?” Sorkin’s
West Wing president, Josiah Bartlet, was forced to play down his bril-
liance, until finally one of his advisers tells him, “I’m telling you, be
the smartest kid in your class. Be the reason why your father hated you.
Make this an election about smart and stupid, about engaged and not,
qualified and not.”
As Sorkin explained his motive for that scintillating speech, “It
was frustrating watching Gore try so hard not to appear smart in the
debates— why not just say, ‘Here’s my f—ing résumé, what do you
got?’ ”
What we “got,” evidently, is better word comprehension than Sorkin.

Two years earlier, the Washington Post had reported that, after Gore got
into Harvard, helped by his prominent senator father (unlike George W.
Bush, who got into Yale when his father was an obscure congressman),
he ranked in the bottom fifth of the class for his first two years. In his
sophomore year, “Gore’s grades were lower than any semester recorded
on Bush’s transcript from Yale.” Gore went on to Divinity School,
where he failed five of eight classes before dropping out. As Gore was
failing out of Divinity School, Bush was earning his MBA from Harvard.
Maybe that’s why Gore didn’t want to bring up the subject of educational
achievement by saying, “Here’s my f—ing résumé, what do you got?”
No matter what their own credentials, liberals are always dying to
blurt out, “I’m smarter than you!” Normal people aren’t driven by what
other people think of them. They don’t spend every waking moment
thinking, “How do I get this person to acknowledge my intellectual
gifts?” Normal people, thankfully, are not liberals.
The media so lost their composure with Sarah Palin that they slipped
and gave away their contempt for people who live in places they would
never visit and know nothing about. They simply forgot themselves.
Noticeably, no Democratic politicians ever attacked Palin the way the
media did. Politicians are well aware that there are a lot more people in
the country like Sarah Palin than there are like Frank Rich.
Naturally, the people most ostentatiously bothered by Sarah Palin’s
purported idiocy were the most aggressive social climbers. Their pinup
is Keith Olbermann, who was practicing radio at age six, while other
boys were learning how to throw things and prevent girls from beating
them up. Keith neurotically cites his nonexistent “Ivy League education”
while ridiculing others for their stupidity.
When he was still employed at MSNBC, Keith had a four- page
typewritten sheet taped to the outside of his office door titled “People
Who Watch This Show,” followed by a list of low- level celebrities. He
is the sort of person who would write Mensa to argue that he should
be admitted (and misspell “Mensa”). Now his fans are lost, adrift, un-
sure whom they’re supposed to hate in order to impress Rolling Stone
Appealing to the herd is irresistible to the alternative prom crowd on
MSNBC. These are people who have been awkward throughout their

entire lives. They laugh a little too hard at jokes that aren’t funny, and
get too excited at minor flubs by their enemies. Usually, the socially mal-
adroit don’t hurt anyone and, with luck, will eventually find someone
who appreciates their license plate collections.
No one enjoys picking on dorks. But the nightly smirkathons on
MSNBC canceled out the usual solicitude. Things change when the
lonely nerds decide they will lash out at the world from their sets at
As the famous psychiatrist M. Scott Peck says, “We are impressed
not only by the innocence but also by the cruelty of children. An adult
who delights in picking the wings off flies is correctly deemed sadistic
and suspected to be evil. A child of four who does this may be admon-
ished but is considered merely curious; the same action from a child of
twelve is cause for worry.”
Sure that someday he would be quoted like Oscar Wilde, in 2009,
Olbermann manfully ripped into twenty- year- old Miss USA runner-up
Carrie Prejean, night after night, giggling mercilessly with the Vil-
lage Voice’s Michael Musto in their gay coffee klatch about how stupid
Prejean was.

Musto: This is the kind of girl who sits on the TV and watches the
sofa. She thinks the innuendo is an Italian suppository. . . .
Olbermann: The moral in this is, what, never cross a beauty pageant
official who knows you’ve had implants?
Musto: Yes, exactly, that’s it. This has escalated to a public shav-
ing. . . . They also paid for Carrie to cut off her penis, and sand
her Adam’s Apple, and a get head- to- toe waxing. . . . Now he’s a
babe who needs a brain implant. Maybe they could inject some
fat from her butt? Oh, they have?
Olbermann: I didn’t like her earrings.

That’s not Oscar Wilde: That’s what gets your face smashed in and
your lunch money taken away in high school. But Keith thought he had
achieved such comedy gold that he replayed that segment on four other
I guarantee that Carrie Prejean is no dumber than Cindy Crawford,
Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Claudia

Schiffer, or Naomi Campbell, who are treated like a virtual Bloomsbury
group by the elites. This is not a criticism, just a suggestion to cut the
crap with conservative Christians like Prejean.
Liberals are people whose entire lives are consumed with following
the crowd. Otherwise, how will they get a reputation for speaking truth
to power?
Ever since David Letterman has become a tired old hack, watched
by people about to collect Social Security, he has specialized in cheap ap-
plause. In June 2009, Letterman told this knee- slapper about Sarah Palin
going to a Yankees game with her daughter: “There was one awkward
moment during the seventh- inning stretch: her daughter was knocked
up by Alex Rodriguez.”
Except Bristol, the Palin daughter who got pregnant out of wedlock,
wasn’t at the game. Fourteen- year- old Willow was. And Rodriguez hasn’t
gotten anyone pregnant out of wedlock. The only way the joke works
is if you’re willing to accept that being a compulsive womanizer is close
enough to getting girls pregnant and Willow Palin is close enough to
Bristol Palin.
But Letterman was bullying the daughter of a hated Republican, so
the audience knew it was supposed to laugh at the lame joke. The New
York Times “ethicist” couldn’t even acknowledge it lacked the basic ele-
ments of a joke, explaining that even though Willow isn’t Bristol, and
dating women isn’t impregnating them, “a joke is a form of fiction, the
punch line a contrivance: the bartender was not actually talking to the
duck. A premise, too, can be invented: a man with a duck did not really
walk into a bar.”
Yes, but if the talking duck runs into Alex Rodriguez and Willow
Palin in the bar, Willow can’t suddenly become Bristol and Rodriguez
can’t become John Edwards.
How about a joke about Obama getting smashed? Did I miss some-
thing— is he a drinker? No, it’s just funny that he’s drunk. But he isn’t
known for being a drunk.
Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Obama were cleaning a gun and it went off
and hit Michelle in the shoulder?
But that didn’t happen.
What if Harry Reid was in a hotel room with Nancy Pelosi? Then we
could go to town!
Yes, the only problem is: It didn’t happen.

How about a joke about Amy Fisher being at Yankee Stadium with
But she wasn’t there. Neither was Bristol Palin.
This isn’t a question of whose ox is gored. A joke is supposed to
start with actual events and then veer into fiction for the punch line.
Here’s Jay Leno’s joke on Palin’s pregnant daughter: “Governor Palin
announced over the weekend that her seventeen- year- old unmarried
daughter is five months pregnant. And you thought John Edwards was
in trouble before!” That makes sense because Palin’s seventeen- year-
old daughter had gotten pregnant out of wedlock and Edwards, unlike
A- Rod, had impregnated his mistress.
If art is going to confuse anyone, by rights it should confuse stupid
people. But the only people who could possibly find Letterman’s Palin
joke funny were idiots who don’t know Bristol Palin had a child out of
wedlock and who don’t know that A- Rod hasn’t gotten any of his girl-
friends pregnant. Stupid people get to laugh and smart people can’t be-
cause they’re wondering, “Wait— was Bristol at the Yankees game? Did
A- Rod get someone pregnant? Did I miss a news story?”
Letterman’s writers have gone from Olympian in the early days, to
imitators in the middle years, to finger- in- the- wind hacks who want to
go home early in the later years. But as long as they attack mob- approved
targets, everyone pretends not to notice.
Indeed, like the high school bullies studied by researchers at Univer-
sity of California at Davis, some liberals were psychologically compelled
to describe Letterman’s provably unfunny joke as hilarious out of a des-
perate quest for popularity.
Pleading over the airwaves for Letterman to have him on, Dick
Cavett— inventor of the “name drop”—called the lame joke “witty” and
“wonderful” and said he would do the joke himself if he had one as good
“as delivered by Letterman’s writers.” Being his own Boswell, Cavett
then repeated the jokes “most people remember” from his own column
on Palin. (Illustrating why he’s not in the top status group, Dick Cavett
said, “I thought that referring to Sarah’s slutty stewardess looks probably
was over the line,” adding, “I think he should apologize for that. Not to
her, but to the stewardesses.” Ba- da- bump!)

Air America’s Sam Seder proclaimed Letterman’s bomb of a joke—
“in the final analysis”—“a funny joke.” He boasted that jokes about
Palin were “like T- ball . . . it’s not even softball. I mean, she just literally
holds it out there.” (Literally!) And yet, he was unable to come up with
any jokes himself, easy as it was— literally.
How about a Top Ten list for Dave’s “Late Show interns I would
have knocked up if they weren’t on the pill because no woman could
stand having a child who looks like me”? Just a few months after making
nonsensical jokes about Palin’s daughter getting “knocked up,” it came
out that Letterman had been carrying on with interns and other Late
Show female employees for years, despite having a wife— who had also
worked for him— and child on the side. The only way Dave can get a
woman to sleep with him is by preying on women underneath him pro-
fessionally, who want to move up.
A certain kind of idiot thinks he’s made a great intellectual point
by saying, “Follow the money.” Every bush- league Marxist assumes the
only reason anyone ever does anything is for money. But as we have
seen, lots of people also behave certain ways to be megalomaniacal and
suck up to the New York Times.
Once you have a certain amount of money, all kinds of things be-
come more important to you than the next dollar— being thought of as
a sensitive, cool, deeply caring person, for example. People will spend a
lot of money to hang out with actresses. They will never spend so much
that they become part of the middle class themselves, mind you. But the
very rich have a long way to go before facing that calamity.
It’s a simple equation: Do you, fabulously rich person, want to be
hated like Republicans Richard Mellon Scaife and David and Charles
Koch— or do you want to be widely admired as a great philanthropist
and lover of mankind like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates?
As Eugene Lyons described the posh opinion in favor of the Soviet
Union in the thirties, “Marx and martinis, bridge and dialectics, social
consciousness and social climbing were all mixed up on the banks of
luxurious private swimming pools.”
Poseurs are everywhere—Wall Street Marxists, the chubby college
coed wailing about global warming, the MSNBC host posting on his
door a list of semifamous people who watch his show, other MSNBC

hosts holding nightly smirkathons in order to bond with their insecure
viewers, and professors defending morons with ed school degrees while
denouncing actually educated conservative speakers in the name of free-
dom of speech. All this is the result of groupthink.
Mobs “stand in need of ready- made opinions on all subjects,”
Le Bon says, and the “popularity of these opinions is independent of
the measure of truth or error they contain.” The power of prestige “en-
tirely paralyses our critical faculty, and fills our souls with astonishment
and respect.” The weak- minded just go with the crowd, ridicule the
designated scapegoats, and then pass out awards to one another for their
The same mob mentality that leads otherwise law- abiding people
to hurl rocks at cops also leads otherwise intelligent people to refuse to
believe anything they haven’t heard on NPR. To improve their social
standing with the crowd, people will passionately assert whatever the
official groupthink position is. Power today comes not from the guillo-
tine, but from self- regard.