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Daily Howler: Our journalistic gods are nuts. Krugman almost said so
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THE GODS MUST BE (SAID TO BE) CRAZY! Our journalistic gods are nuts. Krugman almost said so: // link // print // previous // next //
FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2009

Below, some final thoughts: Below, we offer some final thoughts about our topic for the week. To read all four part of our week-long report, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/4/09.

EPILOG—THE GODS MUST BE (SAID TO BE) CRAZY: How unintelligent—how reflexively dumb—is our journalistic elite? Yesterday, the White House released the text of many past speeches by Sonia Sotomayor. And sure enough! In 1999, the judge said this to New York state’s Women's Bar Association:

SOTOMAYOR (1999): Whether born from experience or inherent physiological differences...our gender makes and will make a difference in our judging. In short, I accept the proposition that a difference will be made by the presence of women on the bench and that my experiences will affect the facts that I choose to see as a judge. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging, but I accept there will be some based on my gender and the experiences it has imposed on me.

In this speech, Sotomayor was discussing gender alone—not ethnicity. A fairly obvious likelihood thus became more clear. When Sotomayor spoke about the possible role of “physiology” in her famous speech from 2001, she was likely speaking about gender then too, not about ethnicity. We discussed this point in yesterday’s post. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/4/09.

Sotomayor was likely speaking about gender, not about ethnicity. This likelihood would have occurred to almost anyone—except to those who carry cards as members of our least impressive elite. Charles Krauthammer and Tucker Carlson (and others) have thundered about this murky remark; they were quite sure that the lady Latina just had to be talking ethnicity. Here was Carlson, playing the fool again in a Post on-line chat:

CARLSON (6/1/09): Have you read her comments? I have, and in context. She said that her “physiology” as a Latina gave her wisdom superior to that of the average white man. Which means....what? Latinas have bigger brains?

I think “stupid” was a charitable description, since it suggests her wording was unintentional. If that's precisely what she meant to say, she's a racist kook and ought to step down from the bench right now. But I'm giving her every benefit of every doubt.

He had read her comments—in context, no less! Sadly, he was just too dumb to imagine what those comments likely meant.

No, you can’t get dumber than that. But this is the norm within this strange group—within our “D-plus elite.”

This group has made a joke of our lives for many years now. Carlson is often spectacularly dumb—but TV producers think he looks good, so TV constantly hires him. Example? In 1999, CNN decided to twin Tucker Carlson with his equally hapless namesake, Margaret Carlson (no relation). All through Campaign 2000, they appeared together as a team on the influential program, Inside Politics.

How inane were the Carlsons, ten years ago? To recall one session from October 1999, go ahead—just click here. They were daft on demand all through Campaign 2000—but that’s the norm in their hapless elite. Ten years later, the Carlsons are both still in the business.

We’re modestly under the weather today—and so, we think we’ll leave it at that. But why are the Carlsons still on TV? Go ahead! Revisit their nonsense from 1999. Your country has been pushing its way down a daft, broken trail for a very long time now.