This article came out in the New York Review of Books several months ago. It is one of the very few articles I have seen in the mainstream media that was written by a non-educator and that recognizes that the 1% want to privatize public education.

Michael Massing published a two-part essay on the 1% and how journalists should cover them.

How should the media cover the power elite, he asks.

He writes:

Despite fizzling out within months, Occupy Wall Street succeeded in changing the terms of political discussion in America. Inequality, the concentration of wealth, the one percent, the new Gilded Age—all became fixtures of national debate thanks in part to the protesters who camped out in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. Even the Republican presidential candidates have felt compelled to address the matter. News organizations, meanwhile, have produced regular reports on the fortunes of the wealthy, the struggles of the middle class, and the travails of those left behind.

Even amid the outpouring of coverage of rising income inequality, however, the richest Americans have remained largely hidden from view. On all sides, billionaires are shaping policy, influencing opinion, promoting favorite causes, polishing their images—and carefully shielding themselves from scrutiny. Journalists have largely let them get away with it. News organizations need to find new ways to lift the veil off the superrich and lay bare their power and influence. Digital technology, with its flexibility, speed, boundless capacity, and ease of interactivity, seems ideally suited to this task, but only if it’s used more creatively than it has been to date.

And here is some detail on a member of the power elite:

To get an idea of how journalists might proceed, imagine for a moment that DealBook decided to adopt a new approach dedicated to revealing the power and influence of the financial elite. What might it look like? A good starting point is a DealBook posting that appeared in May on the “Top 5 Hedge Fund Earners.” For each, DealBook provided his 2014 earnings along with a brief biographical note. Heading the list was Kenneth Griffin, the CEO of the Chicago-based Citadel, whose income for the year came to a whopping $1.3 billion. Here in full was the accompanying note: “Mr. Griffin started by trading convertible bonds out of his dormitory at Harvard. His firm, Citadel, posted returns of 18 percent to investors in its flagship Kensington and Wellington funds.”

Appearing beneath the note was a link to two Times articles. One of them, from July 24, 2014, described the acrimonious divorce proceedings between Griffin and his wife, Anne Dias Griffin, who ran her own investment firm and who had helped elevate her husband’s status in the art world. The other article, dated April 2, 2015, described Griffin’s contribution of more than $1 million to Rahm Emanuel’s campaign for his second term as mayor of Chicago. It mentioned some of the large political donations Griffin has made in the past, including the more than $13 million he gave to Bruce Rauner, a Republican, in his successful campaign for governor of Illinois in 2014. The piece also noted that Griffin has given $150 million to Harvard College for its financial aid program and spent $30 million for two apartments in the Waldorf Astoria Chicago.

While useful, this information barely scratched the surface of Griffin’s influence. Going online, I tried to piece together a fuller picture. According to the Chicago Business Journal, Griffin is considered the richest person in Illinois. A post on CNBC’s website said that Citadel’s recent success “has arguably made Griffin the most powerful figure in hedge funds.” Unfortunately, it did not say what forms that power takes. At OpenSecrets.org—the excellent database of the Center for Responsive Politics—Griffin and his then wife are listed as the thirteenth-largest contributor to Super PACs in 2014, with large sums going to both American Crossroads (cofounded by Karl Rove) and America Rising, which does opposition research on Democratic candidates.

That’s pretty interesting that the same billionaire funded Rahm Emanuel, Bruce Rauner, and Republican super-PACs.

I will post the second part tomorrow.

Sit down and enjoy a good read.