Amy Chozick reviewed Elizabeth Warren's book for The New York Times, mostly favorably, but this sentence annoyed me:
Warren mostly avoids the overheated rhetoric associated with some well-heeled progressives; her vernacular is more Nick at Nite than The Nation.What is "well-heeled" doing in that sentence, and what the hell does it have to do with prose, or at least the prose of progressives?
I mean, obviously Chozick is thinking of Katrina vanden Heuvel, whose maternal grandfather was an entertainment mogul, and whose parents were, respectively, a businessman/ambassador/JFK aide and a writer who, most notably, worked with George Plimpton. But what does Chozick know about the typical Nation writer?
I'm looking at the bylines on The Nation's homepage. Let's see -- Gary Younge?
Younge was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK, to immigrant parents from Barbados and grew up in Stevenage. When he was 17, he went to teach English in a United Nations Eritrean refugee school in Sudan with Project Trust. On his return, he went to Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, where he studied French and Russian, Translating and Interpreting. He went on to study at City University, London, gaining a post-graduate Diploma in Journalism in 1993.Sounds like a real one-percenter, no? How about John Nichols?
John Harrison Nichols was born Feb. 3, 1959, in Racine, Wisconsin, the oldest of three children. The family lived in nearby Union Grove, where his parents still reside. He had club feet, which the local pediatrician treated successfully with casts before age two....Another one-percenter! (Union Grove, by the way, is a village of under 5,000 people. I suspect you didn't have to be a white-shoe lawyer to be the town attorney.)
Dad was the Union Grove village attorney; Mom was a former teacher and librarian....
Nichols' fellow students were mostly either farm kids or had parents working at Kenosha's American Motors plant or the Case plant in Racine....
Nichols elected to go to college at nearby UW-Parkside, in part because it had an excellent program in labor history. He also lived at home, having no desire to escape the homestead....
Oh, I know: Chris Hayes! What about that guy?
Hayes hails from the Bronx, where his Italian-American mother grew up, the daughter of a delicatessen owner. His father found his way to New York from Chicago via the Jesuits, while studying for the priesthood. While in seminary, his Irish-American father, Roger Hayes, did his first community organizing "for people who had trained with Alinsky," Hayes says with a chuckle....Hayes may make nice money now that he's on Tv, but I wouldn't say that about the others. In any case, it's an odd criticism, particularly from a writer who's married to a Goldman Sachs vice president. How would Chozick say that affects her "rhetoric"?
Today his parents both work for the City of New York: Geri, a former schoolteacher, works for the NYC Department of Education, and Roger, after many years of community organizing, does health advocacy work in East Harlem for the NYC Department of Health.