Senator Chuck Grassley sent out a tweet on Monday asking: “Do u think 2day’s journalists r too elite for ‘ordinary Americans’?”
Journalists across the country and others have responded on Twitter, many with snarky, pointed questions of their own about the nation’s political elite.
Grassley says he should have clarified which journalists he was asking about.
“Newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times tend to get quoted more on television and they set a standard,” Grassley says. “It seems to me that maybe sometimes they say things that don’t understand where the average American is coming from.”
An Iowa newspaper published today that Grassley’s net worth is $2.1 million, while the average full-time journalist in the U.S. makes a salary of $38,000 a year.
“It seems that my question with that tweet struck a wrong nerve,” Grassley says. “The tweet was based on questions that I get every day from Iowans who ask me why there seems to be a double standard for Republicans and Democrats. It’s obviously come up more lately.”
One response from a reporter on Twitter carried a picture of the shabby shoes she was wearing, sarcastically calling them “elite.” Another person asked Grassley: “Do you think Senators who only work about 160 days understand ‘ordinary Americans’?”