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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Only Doctors And Journalists Get Paid To Be Ignorant

There is so much to know. Anyone who would claim to not be ignorant in some field or another is a fool. But very few people are allowed by society to profess to have expertise in an area when, in fact, they are ignorant.

If you visit a neurologist, he or she will make various statements of fact along with an admission that the brain is very complicated and "we only know so much."

If he were honest about his ignorance he would say, "Brain function is entirely beyond my knowledge; everything I tell you is at best an educated guess and about half of it will be proven false over the next hundred years. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing which half."

Journalists are worse. They dress their ignorance in clothes of certitude. And the worst of the worst is journalists discussing journalism.

Robert Dallek of the New York Times while reviewing John Dean's latest book about Nixon, demonstrates a shocking lack of knowledge about the Electoral College, the intentions of the Founders, the realities of elections, and the banal ridiculousness of the Watergate break-in/cover-up in contrast with the war crimes, murders, and usurpation of law enforcement to undermine dissent that actually qualify Nixon for a special place in Hell:

...Watergate was an attempt to shape a presidential election by other than constitutional means, violating the most sacred of American institutions going back to the start of the Republic: the elevation of someone to the presidency by popular choice.

I mean, if you're gonna invoke the "start of the Republic" and you have even a cursory knowledge of history, you know that the only way to mention the election "to the presidency by popular choice" is as the exact opposite of what the authors of the Constitution hoped to achieve.

Why does Dallek fail high school history? This is a clue:

...the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who tenaciously ferreted out the truth about Nixon White House wrongdoing...

"Ferret" is true only in the literal sense: Woodward located a rat underground.

But in the far more important sense--revealing that the President was a psychopath using the FBI to harass our Nation's best individuals and our youth to secretly carpet bomb a country we were not at war with, etc.--Woodward and Bernstein were a distraction, the pretty assistant with the long legs who shakes her thing while the magician (Congressional investigators, journalists like Sy Hersh, etc.) pulls off the trick unobserved. "Ferret-like" is about the nicest thing that can be said about Woodward.

The bottom line: journalists think Watetgate was important and Woodward a saint and will twist American history until it is consistent with this religious dogma.

Unfortunately, access based journalism is a pernicious waste.

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