MONDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2017
Part 3—The weaponization of virtue: The next generation of "cablegogue" has been in the news of late.
"Cablegogue?" It's a term major anthropologists use to describe the role of "cable news" in the current functioning of our floundering species. It's a shorthand reference to the widespread presence of demagoguery at our partisan "cable news" networks.
We've been consulting with major anthropologists as we prepare our award-winning documentary film, Anthropology Now. "I love the smell of demagoguery in the evening," moguls will be quoted saying in this award-winning doc.
Over at Fox, the cablegogues have been especially active of late. In a recent assessment of the Mueller probe, Jesse Waters has declared that "we may have a coup on our hands in America." For a New York Mag profile, click here.
Watters is the next generation of cablegogue. He's an irony-swilling version of his more bombastic mentor, Bill O'Reilly. He's a fellow who never knows what he's talking about, but is always fully prepared to advance each talking point.
The slippery, insinuative Watters is the next generation of cablegogue. The past generation of cablegogue has also been active of late in the person of Judge Jeannine Pirro.
Where Watters traffics in irony, Pirro simply screeches and rails. “There is a cleansing needed in our FBI and Department of Justice," the former judge has recently shouted. “It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired, but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.”
Pirro has been ridiculous forever. Lately, she's been worse. For a TPM profile, click here.
If Watters represents Cablegogue Future, Pirro represents the realities of Cablegogue Present and Past. And uh-oh:
According to our scientific consultants, members of Homo sapiens are routinely unable to see that they're being played by such people.
("Think back to the music man, with all those trombones," one anthropologist said.)
At times of tribal war, we "humans" are wired to align with a tribe and believe what we're told by its sachems. This wiring even exists within our own liberal tribe, these scientists hotly insist.
Simply put, it's who and what we humans are. Or so these savants tell us.
Are we liberals really inclined to play these tribal games? When our analysts push back at these scientists, the scholars respond by lecturing them about the "weaponization of virtue."
What in the world can that crazy term mean? Over the weekend, the scientists answered that question with a question of their own.
"What did you think about the recent reports on Flint?" the anthropologists asked our high-spirited analysts.
Angrily, the analysts said that they'd see no such recent reports. "Exactly!" the scientists said. Nor will they see any liberal discussion of the New York Times' recent, highly peculiar report about rising test scores in Chicago, these anthropologists smugly predicted.
"The fact is, liberals don't care about people in Flint, or about kids in Chicago," these all-knowing nabobs averred. Past caterwauling about Flint was partisan posturing, they insist. There was never any real attempt to develop information, they say, and the topic has now disappeared!
Regarding kids in Chicago, these scientists made their most outrageous statements yet. In the formulation detailed below, they comparing our liberal instincts to those of The Others.
"Liberals often say that The Others only care about children before they're born," these scientists have puckishly told us. "But Over Here, inside liberal tents, we don't care about black kids in Chicago unless they've been shot and killed!"
The analysts screamed at this crazy assessment. Later, we're going to take them aside and ever-so-gently help them see how right the scientists are.
At the start of the year, we plan to do a series of reports about the peculiar assessments described in that Times report about Chicago's schools. But trust us—except for Kevin Drum, you'll see no one in Liberal Land discuss this topic. Not even Professor Miles!
You definitely won't see this topic discussed on "cable news." Manifestly, the grinning stars of "cable news" flat-out do not care.
Manifestly, we liberals don't care—and Drum completely bought the peculiar hypotheses reported by the Times. In our liberal/progressive world, black kids don't matter until they get shot. Then, we start inventing and disappearing facts as we weaponize our alleged virtue.
"Among Homo sapiens, this is simply the way it works," these gloomy scientists have told us. "This is the way our species is wired. In the end, this is largely who and what we are."
Our analysts thought these claims were nuts. Then, they read the hot new story, Cat Person.
Unlike Jesus, they didn't weep. But we'll admit they came close.
Tomorrow: Cat Person speaks