But overall, the image of the editorial board was unflattering in the extreme. Long gone from newspapers are the fast-talking, gin-smelling cynics. Here we have a set of people my Irish father might dismissively call “men of quality.” The men wear silk scarves and tortoise-shell glasses. The women are oddly glamorous. They sit in glass box in the sky at a long corporate table flanked by skyscrapers, pronouncing on how the world ought to be. Save for the politics and the fact that they take their income by W-2, it looks like a scene out of an Ayn Rand novel. The hauteur was astonishing. Binyamin Applebaum responded to Andrew Yang — a truly accomplished American who has captured something in the American psyche in his improbable run — by wondering why he was running for president and suggesting that perhaps he run for a councilman’s office instead.
I also have to give credit to the makers of The Weekly for taking the mickey out of the panel of philosopher kings. By the end, the editorial board had talked about how, though they were reassured by Joe Biden’s apparent vigor and health, they found that the case for him was essentially that he’s “a warm body” that can beat Trump. But the camera people caught a glimpse of Joe Biden on the elevator with a black woman who works as security guard in the building. She smiled at Joe and said she loves him, adding, “He’s awesome.” It was the most genuine and least calculated moment of the show. The Times can pronounce on how the world ought to be. But that security guard showed the stubborn way in which the world remains as it is.