The Houston Press hit KUHF President John Proffitt for H.L. Mencken quotes he posted on his Facebook page.
The quotes — “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” and “In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican” — “confirm every fanatical right-wing zealot’s preconceptions of a public broadcasting muckety-muck,” wrote blogger John Nova Lomax, who advised Proffitt to reconsider. Think of how elitist statements brought down NPR fundraising chief Ron Schiller and his boss, former NPR prez Vivian Schiller, Lomax pointed out.
“After what happened to the two Schillers, posting those quotes seemed to us downright punk-rock, reckless as a raised middle finger to the whole entire world. We told Proffitt that we feared this blog item might be received ‘explosively’ in some quarters in this post-Schiller environment. . . . We believed he was making the rabid right’s case for them — that all those in power at public radio view all but the well-heeled, college-educated, classical-loving as slack-jawed, dull-eyed mo-rons.”
Profitt explained that he admired H.L. Mencken’s ascerbic commentary, but heeded Lomax’s warning. “I take your point,” Proffitt said. “I honestly did not follow that line of reasoning before.”