It’s as good to be a member of the Nomenklatura in the US as it was in Soviet Russia.

Members of the elite in prestige-driven systems tend to fail upwards in a way that is much more difficult in careers that demand performance rather than the right connections to get ahead. As long as you have the right connections you can be as mediocre as a fast food hamburger.

Brian Stelter is a great example. The former CNN talking head got the boot because his show was only watched and influential with fellow members of the political and media elite. Perhaps not even them. Average Americans certainly didn’t watch his show, and with good reason–it was filled with nothing but a dull recitation of the Democrat talking points. And if that is what you are looking for there are much more interesting and entertaining places to get it. CNN was MSNBC-lite, and Stelter was CNN-lite. That’s why Stelter got the boot, and that’s why CNN is changing its model.

But fear not for poor Brian. As a certified member of the American Nomenklatura, Stelter landed on his feet quickly. He went where so many elite-approved wastrels land–Harvard’s Kennedy School of government. More specifically The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School.

The Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship brings high-profile figures at the forefront of media, politics, and public policy to Harvard’s Kennedy School to work with students, faculty, scholars and the public on important issues of the moment. As the Walter Shorenstein Fellow, Stelter will convene a series of discussions about threats to democracy and the range of potential responses from the news media. These discussions with media leaders, policy makers, politicians, and Kennedy School students, fellows, and faculty will help deepen public and scholarly understanding about the current state of the information ecosystem and its impacts on democratic governance.

Imagine the excitement that will be generated by Brian Stelter’s discussions with “media leaders, policy makers, politicians, and Kennedy School students.” C-Span ratings will skyrocket!

For those of us who only followed Stelter through the video clips that invariably made it to Twitter so that we could laugh at his ridiculous “media criticism,” it should come as no surprise that his career has been marked by a rapid rise through the ranks of the Leftist elite. Until CNN booted him for his low ratings and off-putting commentaries on how evil Republicans are, his career has been one undeserved triumph after another.

Prior to joining CNN in November 2013, Stelter was a media reporter at The New York Times. He has been a fellow at the Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service and an adjunct professor at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He was named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30: Media” for three consecutive years, and Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40: Media & Entertainment.”

It makes one wonder whether the highest ranking of the elite–those who promote the aspiring apparatchiks who climb the ladder–aren’t more inclined to favor mediocrities to front for them, contenting themselves with remaining the behind the scenes powers who pull the levers.

How else does one explain the inexplicable: Joe Biden as president, Kamala Harris as VP, and the likes of Stelter as their mouthpiece?

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