because it was apparently sliced with annimproperly shaped knife—and all suchnis both pitiable and meaningless drivelnto someone who does not give a damnnabout asparagus, or knows himself whatnto think about his kebab. The nounn”critic” is associated in English withnnames like Dr. Johnson, Coleridge, Carlyle,nMatthew Arnold, and in Frenchnwith Diderot, SainteBeuve, Renan. Innthe Chicago Tribune’s parlance, itnmeans someone who informs you thatnat a certain address spinach and noodlesnare served as side dishes. In New Yorknnewspapers there are also journalistsnwho write about eateries, but they arentactful enough to call themselves foodneditors, or reviewers. It’s the best proofnof the Chicago Tribune’s doleful andndeep-seated provincialism that it feelsna need to call its scribblers “critics.”nThe Chicago Tribune also employsna movie “critic.” He is a reviewer whondutifully tells the plot of the movie,nreports on its production cost, gossipsnabout its actors, ventures into the realmnof judgment by announcing that henfound the movie good or bad, that henliked it or not. He interviews “stars,”ntoo. Being of ultraliberal persuasion,nhe favors actors of radical-pinkish huesnand Jane Fonda is his darling. One couldnpresume that, as a “critic,” he wouldnapply an objective analysis and judgmentnto the Fonda phenomenon, but his criticalnfaculties conspicuously fail him innfront of that lady. He is mightily supportednby his editor-in-chief’s wholesomensense of criticism, who wouldnnever assign anyone to interview ProfessornThomas Molnar, but who featuresncover page blow-ups of Ms. Fonda’snphysiognomy over and over again.nWhich, as the industry knows, is thenarchliberal practice of “critical” publicity,nonly a bit discriminatory andnSelective.nMs. Fonda is a person of extremenmental arrogance. Through her cinematicncelebrity status Ms. Fonda has ansynergic effect on the American democraticnculture as she peddles her mixturenof ideological ignorance, meanness andnemotionality. She is a cog in a vilenmechanism of dispensation of influencesnwhich makes a narrow-minded leftism,nblended with a hubris of unexaminednfeelings, the reigning mood of the popculturalnsupermarket. But the ChicagonTribune’s “critic” does not even try tonfashion his questions in order to probenand fathom the contradictory muddle ofnMs. Fonda’s soliloquies—like other liberal,nbut honestly serious, interviewersnwould do. He does not ask her about anmovie entitled Introduction to thenEnemy, produced in North Vietnam. Innit, Ms. Fonda recited lines and enactednallegiances, for which an actor in Hungary,nPoland, or even Russia itself,nwould be considered by their own societyna despicable tool of a vicious communistnpropaganda campaign. Even benignnAmerican liberals view such agitpropnactivity on behalf of the communistnBig Lie with utter contempt, when itnis performed by the Soviet apparatchiks.nBut the Chicago Tribune “critic”nwrites:n”Prior to her political activism, shenwas just another body, albeit one withna familiar name. But now she standsnalone as a fresh and particularlynAmerican actress. She has the spunknand independence we associate withnour national character. Jane Fonda,nso often accused of being anti-American,nas an old-fashioned Americannactress.’ [the ‘critic’ asks rhetorically]nShe agrees with the analysis: ‘I thinknI’m quintessentially American … Infeel a commitment to my country . . .nI’m moral . . . Yes, Americans arenmoral: it’s been just that our leadersnhaven’t been moral.'”nSo much for what the Chicago Tribunenunderstands of criticism and whonits “critics” are. DnUs and ThemnIn an interview for Vogue, Mr.nHalberstam, a reporter, writer and liberalnmedia insider, announced:nnn”That struggle over information begannin the early 1960s—it was us versusnthe government…”nIt’s a peculiar sociopolitical philosophy.nMr. Halberstam seems to be obliviousnto the idea that the U.S. governmentnis a creation of the people’s will—howevernunrepresentative and truncatednthis will may be as measured againstndemocracy’s modern deficiencies,nmanipulations and complexities. Suchnunequivocal drawing of lines creates ancorresponding reality: the press againstnus, the people who chose the government—which,nin fact has been prettynvisible for at least two decades. Thenwarping of the journalist’s motivationsnand rationalizations is another story.nOnce, the journalist had a right to castnhimself as a knight errant in the causenof truth. Since Watergate, he looksnmore and more to us like a hyena endlesslynprowling for carrion. His actionsnseem to be motivated not by nationalninterests, nor by society’s rational needs,nbut by his own search for power, socialnand financial. Thus, if the journalist ofntoday, as exemplified by Mr. Halberstam,nthinks that just the governmentnis against him he’s mistaken. It is henversus all of us—and he’ll feel it morenand more in the coming years. Sincenthe yellow press and the big city tabloids,nthe people of America have entertainedna suspicion that, beneath allnthe stuffy rhetoric, the press servesntheir own interests more than the interestnof the country. After the ’60s,nwe all have an uneasy feeling that thenmedia serve their own aggrandizementnonly. nnPersuasion At Work, Vol. II,nNo. 3, March 1979:n”THE COERCIVE UTO­nPIANS: THEIR HIDDENnAGENDA”.niS9nChronicles of Culturen