The low cognitive reach of today’s journalists in intellect, knowledge base, and command of English is well recognized. But more and more of their deficits in reasoning and research are making themselves felt as they fall behind in their role as our society’s watchdogs. Three examples will illustrate.
Gov Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’ is not going away. In fact, it’s even hotter than ever now that a defense lawyer has claimed “evidence” which points to Christie knowing about the traffic jam while it was going on. Christie’s claim of ignorance on the matter clearly pointed to the notion that his office had nothing to do with causing the huge back-up. Everybody in NJ, most likely including the governor, knew about the jam because it was reported on every 6pm newscast, but that is not the issue. An attorney representing resigned Port Authority administrator David Wildstein was quoted, “Evidence exists tying Mr Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly.” And that is the basis for the firestorm in the lamestream.
That quote is supposed to be the smoking gun that ties Christie to being complicit in ordering and/or condoning the lane closures while they were going on. But being complicit/condoning is the culpable, yet totally separate part from being aware, along with millions, that there was an ongoing traffic jam. Yet no sharp-witted journalist has been able to draw the distinction. The first hint of media recognition of these two orthogonal concepts finally came from Charles Krauthammer and an AP reporter on Fox News’ Special Report. And even then it did not solicit the obvious and required follow-on explanation and expansion from our Fourth Estate, even though Christie’s staff pointed out that the quote did NOTHING to connect a complicit Christie to the event. The loudly and oft broadcast faulty logic was supposed to carry the day against Christie’s 2016 candidacy, and so far it has. Even the hailed and usually meticulous WSJ has yet to pick up on the implied fallacy.
Let’s get back to income inequality (also here). The lamestream’s latest entry into our larder of common wisdom is that income inequality is caused by greedy capitalists taking away good paying jobs from the people and leaving behind scrabble for paychecks and growing unemployment, as they enrich their enterprises and themselves. No one in the reporter regiments has even thought to question the huge social changes that have taken place in the interval during which the cited inequalities came into being.
In a forthcoming and very technical report by Jeremy Greenwood et al the evidence is presented to buttress the plausible cause that income inequality arose because women got educated and entered the workforce to climb up corporate ladders and create households with two extremely high wage earners. While at the same time government came up with ever more regulations against job creation and rewards for not working, let alone being married to one who does work. Greenwood and co-authors show that removing the cause (many more smart women entering workforce) by eliminating these cultural changes would make the income inequality disappear.
If you think that the lamestream would send anyone except their crack corps of crickets to cover this little bombshell while Obama is playing the Elmer Gantry of Social Justice to national audiences, you’d be sadly mistaken, but hopefully not surprised. (more here)
Finally, we revisit that now notorious letter by KPCB co-founder Tom Perkins (reported here). In the interval, this letter has drawn the predictable outrage in the media from the usual crowd of light thinkers. The rage revolves around ‘How could Perkins compare today’s demonizing of the rich in America to Kristallnacht and the Holocaust?’
None of our contingent of progressive readers appear to have understood the difference between making a comparison between harbingers to potential atrocities, and equating a latter day harbinger to an historical atrocity. And the connection was made more egregious by using the Holocaust as the atrocity that has now been set aside only for Leftwing use in remembrances, admonitions, and accusations for currency in the formulation of public policies. All other uses would somehow “cheapen and coarsen by facile comparisons” the horrific and indelible dimension of those years in Nazi Germany. (I did agree that the real comparison should have been to Stalin’s genocide of the kulaks, or better, to Mao’s ultimate slaughter during the Cultural Revolution. Why go with second rate mass murders?) Again, no reporter has had the wits to point out the obvious chasm in the critics’ reasoning.
It sure looks like most journalists are standing right behind lawyers in their rush to join the world’s oldest profession.