SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014
Or at least, so they claim: By now, the point has been clearly established. Many major American pundits are brighter than Cliven Bundy.
In this morning’s New York Times, Gail Collins and Charles Blow establish the fact that they are brighter than Bundy. In her column, Collins lists the things we’ve learned “from the Crazy Rancher Guy saga.” In his own piece, Blow is able to recognize “the Mount Kilimanjaro-size amounts of ignorance packed into” two recent statements by the rancher guy.
In truth, it isn’t hard to be brighter than Bundy, who hails from the far perimeter of the outer reaches of the edge of the fringe. Still, pundits are staging a familiar type of festival in reaction to his recent racial pronouncements.
Here’s how this round-up works:
In this familiar old manifestation, observers find the most clueless person in a very large nation. They then spend the next several weeks (1) announcing that they are sharper than this person and (2) engaging in shaky acts of generalization, in which they say or suggest that everyone who isn’t Just Like Them is very much like the despised.
How many Americans are actually like Cliven Bundy? Like the nation’s pundits, we have no real idea. For ourselves, though, we will say this:
Bundy is one of our most clueless citizens—but he’s just an isolated rancher from somewhere past the boondocks. By way of contrast, Blow and Collins are major journalists based in New York, a large, influential city.
For that reason, we hold Collins and Blow to a different standard. And, in light of their advantages—because of their “privilege”—we aren’t sure that Collins and Blow are a whole lot brighter than Bundy.
For ourselves, we’ve been most struck by the Bundy-busting of (1) Chris Hayes and (2) Joan Walsh. We thought Hayes engaged in open play-acting on Friday night’s program. And we’d say that Friday’s post by Walsh helps answer an important question: How does it look when liberals get propagandized?
We’ll start to discuss these topics on Monday. In our view, it’s troubling to see players like Hayes and Walsh performing in the way they’ve done in the past few days.
Granted, Bundy is deeply clueless. But in this age of corporate media, how much more discerning are we, over here in our sad liberal tribe?