Classical music must woke up and smell the coffee
As pointed out here previously Norman Lebrecht's Slipped Disc receives the unequivocal support of the classical music industry in the form of advertising, exclusive news and interviews, advertorial partnerships, and complimentary concert tickets and CDs. Yesterday Norman published an article headlined 'US orchestra: Conductor wanted. No whites need apply' which was sourced from the National Review. This conservative publication has a certain notoriety, including being one of the few media outlets to publish material written by Jeffrey Epstein's publicist Christina Galbraith. The National Review also publishes contributions by Dinesh D'Souza who has tweeted "So Rosa Parks wouldn't sit in the back of the bus--that's all she did, so what's the big fuss?" and this year ran an article bylined 'The Editors' proposing that the Equality Act "represents is a cynical attempt to use the Civil Rights Act as a Trojan horse for radical leftist social orthodoxies".
But the biggest claim to toxicity by the National Review was an article by Ann Coulter published two days after 9/11 saying "This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war". Although Coulter was subsequently dropped by the National Review, an editorial statement from a contributing editor explained "So let me be clear: We did not “fire” Ann for what she wrote, even though it was poorly written and sloppy".
Of course Norman is perfectly free, as I am, to quote any source and take any political position. Similarly the classical music industry is free to spend its promotional budgets wherever it wants. But we never stop hearing complaints about how classical music suffers from scarcity of funding, visa problems, marginalisation in the media, inadequate performance venues, apathy from younger audiences, and lack of educational support. With the classical industry's quasi-official media outlet aligning itself in this way, are these problems really surprising?