The New York Times does it again: Just a guess:
For many people, it’s hard to see how low-IQ the New York Times actually is. (We refer to the pompous newspaper’s political coverage only.)
The New York Times carries a great reputation. Beyond that, it constantly signals to its readers that it, and they, are quite bright. (Example: In yesterday’s groaning column by Dowd, readers were handed an Arthur Miller reference.)
It's often hard to see that an empress is wearing no clothes. How dumb is the Times’ political work?
For one example, examine the “Public Dialogue” from yesterday’s Sunday Review.
The dialogue began on Tuesday, with a low-IQ submission from ethical wizard Bruce Weinstein. Weinstein sounds like a fairly bright fellow. One of his books bears the august title, Ethical Intelligence.
In fact, his submission was straight outta Grade 2. This is a large chunk:
WEINSTEIN (8/6/12): As we near the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, it is time for President Obama and Mitt Romney to commit themselves to being truthful in their stump speeches, advertisements, media interviews and all other aspects of their campaigns.It’s hard to know what to make of such a childish submission. Maybe the voters could also get free root beer after casting their ballots!
Each has a lot of work to do. A recent Times article, “The Other Rivals: Fact and Interpretation,” described the many ways that both the president and Mr. Romney have misrepresented the facts in their public presentations. Both camps must stop this shameful practice immediately.
From here on out, the primary question each man should ask is not, “How can I distort my opponent’s track record and my own to my advantage?” but rather, “What is my vision for America, and how can I represent it most accurately?”
I realize that a call for truth-telling in politics may be dismissed as unrealistic and naïve. But with so much at stake in our nation’s future, we can no longer afford the luxury of cynicism.
Why can’t 2012 be the year that ethical intelligence rather than unbridled ambition fuels the race for the White House?
Weinstein's submission was rather light. On Sunday, the Times published ten responses.
Go ahead—see what you think. We’ll offer these broad reactions:
In our view, the responses from the two academics were straight outta Being There. (The president of Mount Holyoke!)
Predictably, the Times published several responses blaming the public for all the dissembling. It wasn’t until the tenth letter (out of ten) that a single word was said about the role the press corps may play in all this.
That word was buried within another blast at the unworthy, unwashed electorate. This is the way the Times is:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES: Perhaps Mr. Weinstein is correct that “a call for truth-telling in politics may be dismissed as unrealistic and naïve.” But the bigger question is, Can the public handle the truth? Given the low level of discourse in politics, right now voters can’t even handle the lies because they lack the necessary filters to help them understand the key points.Wow! That said, that is the only letter which mentions the possible role of the press. Even then, the writer mainly trashes the public—and he seems to think that the problem with the “media” only began “in recent years.” (He seems to be talking about openly partisan media, rather than traditional news orgs like the Times.)
Much of the fault rests with our media, which in the recent years have drifted into solid left and right camps and can’t be trusted to provide dissection of the murky outpourings from all political parties.
Unfortunately, there is no good reason for politicians to tell the truth. To quote Mark Twain, “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.” And right now the politicians don’t consider the American public to be worthy.
Weinstein is a money-making popularizer—a writer of fatuous pseudo-books. The Times may have gotten some sharp responses to his rather fatuous post—but what do you think of the ten they posted?
All in all, we would say this: Very, very light. And let us add this final point:
Contempt for the average voter is the defining mark of the pseduo-liberal. We liberals love to loathe the rubes. It makes us feel like we're bright.
They often loathe us in return. Pray for Barack Obama!