Supplemental: Hewitt stands in defense of Trump!


Logic joins fact in the dumpster:
At highly tribalized times, warring tribes will develop dueling collections of facts.

When Hugh Hewitt appeared with Don Lemon last night, he showcased a second part of this tribal breakdown. At highly tribalized times, traditional standards of logic may get discarded too.

Lemon asked the conservative talker about Trump's current apparent howler--his claim that he saw "thousands and thousands" of Muslims in Jersey City celebrating the fall of the twin towers back in September 2001.

Did Trump actually see such a thing? Fairly early in the discussion, Hewitt seemed to say that he thinks Trump's claim is wrong. "I think, obviously, he is recollecting the West Bank or the Gaza demonstrations," Hewitt said, referring to videotaped celebrations which happened halfway around the world from Jersey City.

"He's putting together a little bit here," Hewitt said as he continued. "...But a Trump supporter doesn't care."

Should a Trump supporter care? As he continued, Lemon said that Trump should at least acknowledge his error. When he did, Hewitt showed us how our most basic concepts can collapse at highly tribalized times:
LEMON (continuing directly): But if he doesn't want to apologize to people he believes are his opponents or to Democrats, shouldn't he apologize, or at least clarify, to the people who support him and say, "You know what, maybe I conflated a bunch of different events and I apologize if I did that," to his own good?

HEWITT: Don, why would he apologize if he remembers it? I'm trying—

What I've been saying from the beginning is, I don't believe that happened, you don't believe that happened. But I often am wrong about my memory. I'm sure you're often wrong about your memory. You don't go around apologizing. Instead you say, "Why is the mainstream media obsessed about that?"
Lemon suggested that Trump should apologize for his misstatement, or that he should at least "clarify" the facts.

In response, Hewitt trod a narrow path. He flatly said he doesn't believe that the events in question happened. But why should Trump apologize, Hewitt asked, if he actually did remember events in the way he described?

Duh! People routinely apologize, or at least correct themselves, when they make an honest error based on faulty recollection. As the conversation continued, Lemon made that obvious point.

But these are highly tribalized times. For that reason, Hewitt continued to forge a new piece of moral logic:
LEMON (continuing directly): No, no, no. That's not true. That's not true, because—

I owe Katrina Pierson an apology because we talked about the cell phone video last time. The next time she comes in this show I'm going to apologize to her because I was wrong about it, she was right.

That's what people do when they're wrong. So, I think that—

HEWITT: If you come to that conclusion, you should. But thus far, Donald Trump has not come to that conclusion, unless you think he is lying about his memory. And that's where, again, I recommended it this morning on New Day, Elizabeth Loftus' TED Talk on memory.

Watch it, Don. It explains the whole thing.
Lemon was making the world's most obvious point. If you make a mistake, even if you make a mistake in total good faith, you should correct the record. You should also perhaps apologize to whatever person your honest mistake may have wronged.

Until last week, that was an obvious bit of moral logic within American culture. But these are highly tribalized times. At such times, all kinds of basic facts may go, along with our most basic moral logic.

It's easy for us liberals to see the oddness of Hewitt's assessment. But as the tribalization grows, our own tribe is routinely behaving in similar ways.

We'll offer more examples tomorrow. As liberals, our reptile brains will bark and howl and insist these examples are wrong.


  1. Trump and other alpha males like him did not get where they are by apologizing. They have learned that an apology is seen by others, at least on a subconscious level, as an admission of weakness. For someone attempting to convince a majority of americans to vote him leader of the free world, any appearance of weakness hurts his chances. Its not the ideal world that Bob may long for in his ivory tower, but it's what works in reality.

    1. It may work when the name of the game is domination. I don't know if that is how business negotiation works or if that is what is respected by an electorate, but it doesn't work when you are trying to get things done cooperatively or collaboratively with other people. It is called bullying in that context and others resent it.

    2. The dividing lines between fear, respect, and affection can be thin indeed. In life and love. Smart players like Trump take advantage.

    3. Silly, silly Benjy - equating veracity with weakness and mendacity with strength.

    4. I once apologized when I was mistaken.
      But I wasn't trying to court bigots to elect me to office.


  2. There is an old joke about the express checkout at a Cambridge convenience store. I believe the punch line goes like this: "Is it that you go to MIT and can't read or that you go to Harvard and can't count?"

  3. Hands Up Don't Shoot!

  4. Should only Repubican politicians acknowledge their errors? Has Obama ever acknowledged that ObamaCare hasn't worked the way he said it would? Did he admit that many people lost their insurance? That many people did lose their doctors? That it didn't save the average family $2500?

    BTW did he ever tell us whether his false statements were based on expert opinions held at the time, or whether he was just saying whatever it took to get the bill passed?

    1. You have long ago established that you have long ago lost the ability to reason based on facts and now merely believe, at face value, any bullshit you read on right-win blogs and Web sites.

      The question is, why, David? Does the truth really threaten you that much? In what way?

    2. Hate to admit it, but Dave has a point. But it's limited, and only if you trust this website:

      I have no idea if it's reliable or not. But I will say this - Dave loses the forest for the trees, as you'll see if you read the whole thing. I still think the ACA is an abomination, but it's definitely better than what we had.

      And calling Trump a politician is a stretch. He's never held office, and never will. C'mon, Dave! Don't let the clown woo you!

    3. Yes, Obama should acknowledge that people didn't get to keep their insurance. However, it's still far from being identical to the Trump's bull-headed, fact-ignoring obstinateness. Obama's statements were forward-looking. In retrospect, he was mistaken. Of course, it is possible that he meant his statements only in relation the employer provided insurance, in which case he was correct. In other words, Obama's statement is fuzzy and somewhat open to interpretation.

      There's nothing fuzzy about Trump's statement: Thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated and it was captured on video. Nothing of a kind happened. Of course, Trump cam always use the Rumsfeld gambit: the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence...

    4. 6:17 -- I sure hope Trump doesn't get elected President. But, he is properly called a "politician" -- Definition:
      "a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office."

    5. What political group has fought tooth and nail to defeat and subvert the Affordable Care Act every step of the way and do their damnest to make sure "things didn't work out the way he said it would"? Why doesn't your buddy Mitch McConnell admit that his party's primary goal to limit President Obama to one term "didn't work out the way he said it would"?

      There's a gigantic difference between lying through your teeth, getting caught at it, and then defiantly defending the lies with whether or not Affordable Care Act "not working out the way he said it would." But you being a dishonest, tribal troll, it's not surprising that you would be too obtuse to recognize the difference.

      As sure as the night sky is dark, David projects and projects and projects, and then some poor sap takes pity on him(?) and says he has a point.

    6. Obama passed the ACA to court bigots to vote for him?

  5. For the media the most important truth is their preferred narrative. Trump's incorrect statement did have some elements of veracity. Some Muslims in the US did celebrate 9/11, according to media reports. There was TV coverage of many Muslims celebrating abroad. No matter. Trump's statement contradicted a preferred media narrative, namely, that Islamic immigrants pose no threat to the US. Thus Trump's partly erroneous statement is an enormously important story, to the media.

    1. No, there were no confirmed reports of Muslims celebrating. As I posted several times (with links), the people seen were Israelis and they were not celebrating. They were taking pictures. They were held for 2 months while their backgrounds were investigated. Trump's statement is entirely wrong.

      Why do you persist in posting the same garbage over and over, even after it has been refuted? That is no longer conversation. It is trolling.

    2. Persistence is his only positive trait.

  6. Well, I'll point out the obvious for any of us who once admired the useful work this blog used to do, should they still be along for the ride.
    Bob is engaging in a kind of lessening of standards at least as swinish as those he's pointing out in the tragic display that is Donald Trump. He attended Harvard University, where perhaps some form of public aid was involved, and he's reasoning like an eighth grader who wants pardon from his curfew.
    Tomorrow he will present some sort of equivalency to Donald Trump and it will be a very, very weak comparison. He has already told us that. If it was a sound piece of reasoning, why would he have to decide for us how to react. He would not, in an uncivil and insulting fashion, berate us for daring to disagree.
    This, it must be suspected, is why the important work Bob has done has never escaped a certain narrow audience. As for Trump, what decent person could respect him after his behavior and comments regarding the Central Park Five? Here's a case where he literally wanted to put five men to death and would not reverse his incorrect position. He is a moral degenerate. One of our major political parties is safe for such degeneracy, and one isn't. And that's where Hewitt and David in Ca are stuck. Oh yeah, and Trump's bad memory just happens to fall in line with a bigoted, ugly social viewpoint he wants to promote, just as it did with The Central Park Five.
    There have always been such circus clowns in the Republican Party, and the sort of rationalizations a rank and file Republican like David in Ca make on this thread go a long way in explaining how they have risen to the forefront.
    But how did the learned elders of Harvard teach basic values so poorly that they produced a Bob Somerby?