As usual, sophistries chosen: The truth has become increasingly clear. Just as a matter of fact, no, we can't have nice things!
As of Monday afternoon, we had planned to spend the week discussing Professor Gates' excellent question.
"What difference does it make?" he asked. His question helps us ponder a very important further question:
What does it mean to assert that someone belongs to a "race?"
That plan was blown away in a rush of sophistries chosen by the nation's press corps. But then, this is the fifth Saturday on which we've had to postpone a planned discussion of Dennis Overbye's most recent attempts in the New York Times to explain, describe or discuss gravitational waves.
(If you can believe that you understand this, then it's likely that you'll be persuaded, down the road, by a wide range of other murky presentations!)
So too, we're forced to postpone our learned discussion of the facile term, "collusion." Instead, we think you ought to consider CNN's latest plays.
Yesterday, we showed you Rachel Maddow offering an exciting presentation—an exciting presentation which made no earthly sense. We told you that other cable stars were making similar plays.
Last night, it was CNN's Jim Sciutto who maintained this stampede.
In this latest stampede, the children are determined to claim, among other things, that Jeff Sessions has been lying, or some such thing, concerning the Trump campaign's contacts with the Russkies.
They very much want to say that. This led Sciutto to offer this report, right at the start of Anderson Cooper's program last night:
SCIUTTO (11/3/17): [Transcript not available]Doggone it! Late this morning, as we type, CNN hasn't yet produced a transcript. We can't say we blame them for that, and no, we aren't going to doing their transcribing for them this time.
We'll only offer this warning:
Just as Maddow did Thursday night, Sciutto offered a report built around a gong-show-level sophistry. That sophistry goes like this:
The children's latest deduction:If you have three brain cells to rub together, you can see that this deduction won't hunt. Maddow presented this foolishness very clearly. Sciutto's attempt at reporting was a great deal murkier, but his insinuations were plain.
1) Carter Page told Sessions that he would be making a speech in Moscow.
2) Therefore, Sessions was lying, or some such thing, when he said he didn't know of contacts between Trump functionaries and Russian officials.
Your choices, should you choose to consider them:
Choice 1: Sciutto and Cooper lack three brain cells to rub together.Warning! The children were also busy last night toying with the concept of holding "a meeting." This let them claim that Carter Page lied when he told Jake Tapper yesterday afternoon that he held no meetings with Russkie officials when he gave that Moscow speech.
Choice 2: Sciutto and Cooper were willing to traffic in sophistry. Again!
(For the record, Page didn't actually say that to Tapper, as you can see if you watch the interview in question.)
Did Page meet with a Russkie official when he gave his speech in Moscow? This slippery but stampede-friendly claim originates in this facile report by the New York Times. Your questions, should you choose to consider them:
Does "a very brief hello" with someone constitute an instance of "meeting with" that person? Does it mean that the people in question actually had "a meeting?" (The answer is yes, a thousand times yes, when the children are on a stampede.)
Who knew what about possible meetings? Who knew what about "collusion?" Like you and like the aforementioned children, we can't answer those questions at this point in time. But while we wait for more information, the children are on a stampede.
We still can't tell you who knew what about meetings, collusion and the like. We can tell you this:
The children are currently on one of their stampedes. They've conducted many such stampedes in the past, many of them aimed at major Democrats. (In some quarters, their 25-year stampede against Hillary Clinton still hasn't ended.)
This time, the children are stampeding against Trump associates. Some of those targets may be guilty of misconduct, some of them may not be—but when the children get overexcited this way, they constantly make the unfortunate choice of plying you with sophistries.
Do the children understand the choices they keep making? We wouldn't assume that they do. But the children are very much on a stampede.
When they do this, their target is you. We advise you to proceed with caution as you consume their "reports."
More on the term "collusion" next week. Citizens, what's in a word?