Look who's catching up: Long ago and far away, we first discussed the massive dumbness of the morning show, Fox & Friends.
At the time, it struck us as the dumbest news program ever broadcast. It was while we were watching Brian Kilmeade on the Fox & Friends of that era that we were first struck by an unfortunate thought:
Performers on these programs are being paid amounts of money they would never receive in any other walk of life. For that reason, these people never rock the boat on such shows. In large part, they're being paid for their obedience to the corporate mission.
In this piece by Adam Raymond, the world-class dumbness of this program is back today in full flower.
Today's dumbness involves Steve Doocey, who may have created more dumbness by now than anyone else in the history of TV news. Ainsley Earnhardt is also involved. Also, dear God, Ed Henry!
You'll have to read the piece by Raymond to see how vast the dumbness was in the incident he describes. Having said that, though, we'll also say this:
Rachel Maddow's recent segments about Mike Pence's legal fees were every bit as dumb. Assuming minimal emotional agency,
Maddow was talking down to the rubes, just as the Fox & Friends gang has always done.
Assuming minimal emotional agency—and we don't make that assumption with Maddow—she was showing her ultimate disrespect for the people who watch her program.
There's an obvious difference here. Maddow was originally peddled to us as Our Own Rhodes Scholar. She would score very high on an IQ test. Assuming minimal emotional competence, the dumbness she displayed in those segments was entirely deliberate. It can't have happened because she herself is dumb.
Meanwhile, if it's The Big Tribal Dumb you like, just consider this second report, in which Raymond discusses Trump's recent interview with the Fox & Friends gang. In this chunk shown below, Raymond accuses Trump of "witness intimidation" due to his suggestion last month that he might have tapes of his conversations with Comey the God:
RAYMOND (6/23/17): The President also addressed the nonexistent tapes of his conversations with Comey. Thursday he admitted that the tapes don’t exist. He reiterated that in the interview—“I didn’t tape, and I don’t have any tape, and I didn’t tape.”—but [Trump] added that he concocted the ruse to keep Comey honest. And he thinks it worked.For starters, let's get clear on what Trump is saying. He's saying that Comey was forced to tell the truth because of the bluff concerning the tape. Otherwise, Trump is saying, Comey might have dissembled or lied.
“When he found out that I, you know, that there may be tapes out there—whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else and who knows—I think his story may have changed,” Trump said. “You’ll have to take a look at that because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events. My story didn’t change—my story was always a straight story, my story always was the truth. But you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed, but I did not tape.”
Earhardt then complimented Trump, saying the ruse was “a smart way to make sure [Comey] stayed honest during those hearings.”
“It wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that,” Trump said. “He did admit that what I said was right. And if you look further back before he heard about that, I think maybe he wasn’t admitting that.”
And with that, Trump can add “witness intimidation” to the ever-growing list of crimes he’s being accused of committing in his short five months in office.
That may or may not be the case. Based on the published record, we'd have to say that Trump's bluff may have had that sort of effect on anonymous Comey "associates." It seems possible that certain claims by some "associates" may have been tempered after Trump issued his bluff.
At any rate, that's what Trump is saying. Now, try to fathom what Raymond is saying in the text we've posted. (As a general matter, we mentioned the peculiar reasoning in which he's engaged in our first post today.)
Raymond is saying that, by forcing Comey to be honest in his testimony, Trump engaged in "witness intimidation!" He describes this as a crime.
Let's go over that again:
In the imagined scenario, Trump's bluff forces Comey to tell the truth in his Senate testimony. He can no longer lie under oath because a tape might exist.
According to Raymond, Trump was thereby committing the crime of intimidating a witness! He was robbing Comey of the freedom to lie under oath.
Desire to maintain faith with the tribe can make people say many things. All over cable last night, scripted pundits were voicing softer versions of this manifest tribal lunacy.
This morning, his lizard apparently barking, Raymond served the lunacy straight. With The Crazy running wild on all sides, we live in dangerous times. A major nation can't survive when the tribes start playing like this.
That said, will your lizard let you consider our original point?
The ludicrous Doocey = Maddow? Will your lizard let you see it?