Peggy Noonan Bemoans the Loss of the “Tribal Chieftains”

Saturday, October 3, 2009
Posted in category Media

In her Wall Street Journal column this morning (“Keeping America Safe From the Ranters”), Noonan yearns for a new generation of media shills to carry on the state’s agenda, with class, dignity, and humanity, just as the Elders of journalism, or Tribal Chieftains, did before them. She writes:

Who are the Elders? They set the standards. They hand down the lore. They’re the oldest and wisest. By proceeding through the world each day with dignity and humanity, they show the young what it is that should be emulated. They’re the tribal chieftains. This role has probably existed since caveman days, because people need guidance and encouragement, they need to be heartened by examples of endurance. They need to be inspired.

…The new Elders will have to rescue America from the precipice. They’ll have to be mature, think of the collective, of the country as a whole.

Like all statists of the Old Guard, or its followers, she deplores the new media platforms.

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3 Responses to Peggy Noonan Bemoans the Loss of the “Tribal Chieftains”

  1. Robin says:

    October 3rd, 2009 at 8:51 am

    That’s an ironic title for the WSJ editorial. Noonan’s demand for intellectual submission to the MSM is as a fine piece of pro-establishment ranting as you could ask for, once you get past the initial, maudlin blubbering about dead geezer journalists.

    In some ways, she is more accurate than she knows in likening dead and doddering media gatekeepers to tribal chieftains. These would be chiefs who take their pay, and their orders, from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and who instruct the tribe to stay on Big White Father’s desolate reservation…and joyfully accept the wonderful smallpox blankets from GlaxoSmithKline. Tribal metaphors also bring to mind the MSM’s antiquated technology, and its proud cultural isolation from the wider world.

    In other ways, Noonan’s analogy reveals her ignorance of how tribes actually worked. The chief was respected not because he was old, or because he affected a dignified posture, but because he spent a lifetime at productive tasks: hunting, gathering, building, herding, and/or engaging other tribes in trade, diplomacy, and war. He became an expert by virtue of experience and achievement, and he led by example until the tribe relegated him to advisory status in support of a succeeding, younger chief.

    The more appropriate primitivist metaphor for the American MSM shill would be the lowest sort of Hollywood tribal witch doctor, the bug-eyed shaman who insists that his followers maintain an abject superstition, and who brands all useful innovations as sacrilege.

  2. Tasercrime says:

    October 3rd, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    “Keeping America Safe From the Ranters” says it all.

    She is advocating the exploitation of what is deep and personal. It is just a little more of what at this date is being worn pretty thin. Obama says “let us summon a new spirit of sacrifice” which sounds like what Ayne Rand was ranting about, although she didn’t understood the scope of the issue at hand. Ayne stood against authoritarianism, but she came short of acknowledging or at least admitting the possibility of true authority. Feet of clay.

    On the deep end let’s just say this is promoting the state above the dignity of the individual. On the shallow end, I say, who has some chalk for a pentagram so we can summon this spirit properly… NOT!

  3. Jeannie Queenie says:

    October 3rd, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Doesn’t look to me like Noonan’s newest book, Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now, is doing all that well. First time I have ever seen a book going for just a penny on Amazon. So it looks like Peggy could be saying, “give me a penny for my thoughts”, but alas, no buyers are forthcoming. Who wants the tired old news of a dead end state agenda anyway?

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