“The American Media Establishment and the British Royal Pregnancy
Why this stupidity? Or is it something more than mere stupidity?
Since we are speaking, first of all, of the American media, of course the element of imbecility—along with the inevitable effort to divert public attention from social disaster and unending wars and threats of wars.
For months the major television networks, cable channels and weekly magazines have been breathlessly anticipating what ABC News on December 3 termed “the most eagerly awaited pregnancy.” Fox News, owned by Rupert Murdoch, declared itself “delighted” by the “royal pregnancy,” only worrying whether “Kate’s medical condition” posed a threat to her health. According to , “When news of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy broke on Monday, a gasp of excitement went round the world.”
Briton Alex Massie, writing in , noted December 5 that the media in the US was “plunging overboard in one of its periodic obsessions with the British House of Windsor” and that the news from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was “sending a good part of the American press into a familiar frenzy of twittering, fluttering excitement.”
This same press imputed its own frenzy to the population at large. An Associated Press reporter informed his readers that “An heir to the British throne is on the way—and Americans may be as enthralled as the Brits. This former colony has been riveted by the royal news that the former Kate Middleton is pregnant.” He should speak for himself. To the casual observer, this country presents itself as a sea of indifference to the British royal family’s pending expansion.
Without a doubt, however, the various television anchors, gossip columnists and scandalmongers posing as journalists are beside themselves with joy.
So why do the present rulers of America, and their press agents, ooh and aah and wretchedly carry on about the Windsor family, who cost the British people hundreds of millions of pounds a year and whose personal, ill-gotten wealth is simply vast (in 2010 estimated that Queen Elizabeth II’s net worth was nearly half a billion dollars)?
The most pertinent answer lies in America’s transformed social and economic conditions. The United States is ruled today by a financial-corporate aristocracy, with infinitely more in common with George III and Jefferson Davis than with Paine, Jefferson, Lincoln, the abolitionists, Twain and any progressive figure in US history.
Can anyone imagine the crowd of “Tories” (as those loyal to the crown were known during the Revolutionary War) and “copperheads” (pro-Southern sympathizers during the Civil War) who currently run America standing up to the British monarch or the slavocracy? Not for an instant; they are made from the same human and social material.
America’s multimillionaires and billionaires, and their hangers-on, envy Britain’s “legitimate” royalty and dregs of a nobility, long for such rank themselves and despise the “common people” with as much fervor as the aristocrats of an earlier age.
They would agree with Alexander H. Stephens, the vice president of the Confederacy (and a figure in Steven Spielberg’s ), who insisted in a March 1861 speech, as historian James McPherson has observed, that the old confederation known as the United States “had been founded on the false idea that all men are created equal.”