635 comments: The ongoing state of U.S. intelligence may not be all that good.

Consider what happened when Maureen Dowd wrote that ridiculous column about Susan Rice—her latest ridiculous column.

(For background, see our award-winning previous post.)

Dowd's column was a real groaner this Wednesday. Breaking with recent precedent, Dowd’s editors allowed Times readers to post a full set of comments.

635 readers did. To read the column and those comments, go ahead—just click here.

We’ve read through hundreds of those comments. We haven’t found a single one which challenged Dowd’s most ridiculous criticism of Rice. We refer to the absurd complaint Dowd advanced in this blindingly foolish passage:
DOWD (11/28/12): When Rice heard the president of the Libyan National Congress tell Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation,” right before her appearance, that 50 people had been arrested who were either foreign or affiliated with or sympathized with Al Qaeda, why did she push back with the video story? “Why wouldn’t she think what the Libyan president said mattered?” Collins wondered.
That criticism of Ambassador Rice is so stupid it squeaks. It virtually defines the idiocracy in which we all seem to live.

It would be hard to make a dumber complaint. But go ahead! Try to find a single comment which mentions this problem.

635 people left comments. Can you find a single person who challenged the idiocracy of that complaint by Dowd?

Let’s be fair. It isn’t fair to expect Times readers to know every fact about this topic, or about any other topic.

But the foolishness of this criticism of Rice doesn’t turn on matters of fact. On its face, it’s just blindingly stupid to think that Rice would abandon U.S. intelligence so she could agree, right there on the spot, with claims by a Libyan pol.

Question: Who would think that someone like Rice would ever do something like that? Answer: Apparently, 635 readers! And many, many thousands more, the ones who didn’t comment.

Is it fair to think that readers should spot such absolute nonsense? Maybe it is, perhaps not.

But surely, other journalists can see through such nonsense! Readers, guess again!

Question: Have you seen a single journalist complain about this ridiculous criticism of Rice? Have you seen Dowd criticized, even once, for advancing such absolute nonsense?

How about the ridiculous Schieffer? Has anyone criticized him?

This ridiculous criticism of Rice has been getting pimped for weeks. The criticism is dumb beyond dumb.

Have you seen any journalist say so? If you haven’t, why not?

Before life is done, we’ll look at Joan Walsh’s mumble-mouthed criticism of an earlier column by Dowd. But you do live in an idiocracy when people like Collins, Schieffer and Dowd can advance such a blindingly stupid complaint without a single word of pushback. And yes, to state the obvious once again:

This is the way George W. Bush ended up in the White House.

Our world is not the world described in your eighth-grade civics text. Mike Judge described our world rather well.

Your journalists have agreed to pretend.

Next: What the liberal world’s darling child said!


  1. Just Google John McCain Flak Jacket to understand the his motives in this matter!

  2. Have you read the last 635 comments on this blog?

    The vast majority are under the impression that an aspiring, professional diplomat will always be entirely forthcoming with the truth--even if it may reflect poorly on both the diplomat and the administration she serves!

    Well, that wasn't true before 2008 and is not likely true now.

    But at TDH it wouldn't matter if Rice said today that she intentionally used the chaos around the Egyptian demonstrations to confuse the voting public about problems regarding the US presence in Libya--problems she helped create--it wouldn't matter because TDH would argue that nobody could have known that from her original murky statements...then TDH would begin a new round of criticisms of reporter's paraphrases of Rice's new statement.

    While Rice would not admit the above even if it were absolutely true, and neither I nor any of the other commenters here will ever know all the facts of the matter, we may be seeing a lot more of the slippery side of Rice. Just today the UK held up funding to Rwanda...Rice has always claimed and will claim she never knew anything for sure about Rwanda's support for M23, but that intelligence has evolved...

  3. Only 635 comments? Or should I say, that many? Really? Is anyone paying any attention to Dowd anymore? I suspect she's so discredited herself that knowledgeable people don't bother to discredit her anymore.
    When is her current contract up with the NYT? That moment will be an interesting one.

  4. You know what idiocy is? Using 635 Internet comments as evidence of a general thesis about the state of the entire U.S. society and culture.

    Sorry, Bob. But this whole Benghazi thing is going to wind up being a footnote in the history of the 2010s, if that. It's like spending the entire summer of 2001 discussing whether Gary Condit killed Chandra Levy while Osama bin Laden is firming up his plans.

    In other words, it's something to gossip about because it doesn't require too much brainpower to gossip about it.

    And thank you for playing right along, Bob.

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