Epic Sympathy Fail

June 13th, 2009at 01:15pm Posted by Eli

Meet America’s newest oppressed minority:

With the super-rich as its core readership, Robb Reporthas fired the initial volleys of a nascent media class warfare. In a two-page note in the June issue entitled “Putting Luxury Into Perspective,” editor in chief Brett Andersen attacks “the mainstream media” for its “demonization of the wealthy and the industries that cater to them.” This antipathy toward the magazine’s prime audience and advertisers, Andersen charges, is “a media phenomenon we have observed lately with increasing dismay.” He lambastes the wave of populism as failing “to recognize the ways in which luxury industries have enriched society not only economically, but also intellectually, technologically and culturally.”

It was the magazine’s second broadside in a row: In Robb Report‘s May issue, Andersen wrote a similar essay about the media’s “pernicious prejudice” against the wealthy.


In an interview with NEWSWEEK, Andersen decried this “luxury bashing” (which some might conclude includes a piece on “luxury shame” I wrote for NEWSWEEK last November). “There’s a sense that coverage in many of the mainstream news outlets wasn’t quite balanced,” Andersen says. “All of the wealthy get lumped in with [$60 billion Ponzi schemer Bernie] Madoff. Anyone getting a bonus on Wall Street is regarded as dishonest.”


One of his wingmen leaves no doubt that their antagonists in the ink-soiled media masses are uncouth, with little or no grasp of the meaning of high-living. “If you read The New York Times, you find that its writers consider buying Starbucks coffee a luxury during this downturn,” writer Henri Barguirdjian, CEO, of the U.S. arm of high-end jeweler Graff. He emphasizes his industry’s economic impact—annual revenue of $25 billion from 30,000 speciality stores. “That represents a significant amount of sales and corporate tax revenue, not to mention employment opportunities,” Barguirdjian wrote. Meanwhile, Margareth Henriquez, CEO of the prestige champagne brand Krug, extols luxury’s transcendent virtues. “Luxury companies have lighted the way for the rest of the world,” she writes, explaining their high-end products and services generate “new ideas and directions” that also advance the fortunes of companies that can’t readily afford to fund innovation and set standards. Bentley Motors president Christophe Georges cites “a kind of self-flagellation in the United States at the moment.” But Bentley’s 4,000 autoworkers at its Crewe, England, plant don’t buy the notion, he says, “that owning a Bentley is a bad thing.”

It must be horrible to be persecuted like that, to have all your rights taken away, to have people cross to the other side of the street when they see you coming, to have nothing but your wealth and power and trophy spouse to console you.  My heart, it is breaking.

Keep speaking out, Mr. Andersen – the American people need to understand how terribly difficult it is to be rich.

Entry Filed under: Economy,Media,Republicans,Wankers

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