A Daring Headline!

January 21st, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

Remember what Warren Buffett said about class warfare?

“There’s class warfare, all right,” he told conservative Ben Stein in 2006, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

A scintillating Albuquerque Journal headline Tuesday, Jan. 18, B4, brought that to mind:

“Swiss Ex-Banker Rats Out Rich to WikiLeaks,” it read.

The rubric fit the story, an AP London account of one Rudolph Elmer giving documents to WikiLeaks that “he alleges detail attempts by wealthy business leaders and lawmakers to evade tax payments.”

But, “Rats Out”?

That usage is lively, entertaining; I’d guess the editor meant to amuse us. But since humor often hides truth, let’s speculate on what might be secreted within.

Did the Journal headline writer employ words associated with lawbreakers, like the gangster who betrays his buddies to the cops, to characterize the rich as criminals?

Not very likely, given the Journal’s perpetual, passionate embrace of those atop the hierarchy.

Alternatively, was the Journal signaling it stands against the stool pigeon who sang, and arm-in-arm with those bankers and politicians?

I doubt it. Like Buffett’s “rich class,” the Journal never says it should rule; heck, the Buffett quote is fun precisely because his fellow plutocrats regularly deny that class warfare exists.

They pretend to admire democracy.

If, of course, I’m wrong and the Journal was signaling solidarity with the (allegedly cheating) upper class, credit the daily with Buffettian honesty.

In any case, my compliments to the daring headline writer!

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