It's all anthropology now: At the start of 2018, we made an historic announcement.
"It's all anthropology now," we charismatically said. Here's what we meant by that statement:
We meant that no sensible person could possibly think, at this point, that anything good will ever come from attempts at analysis or information production.
Anthropologically speaking, our species runs on script alone. It's narrative all the way down.
Next week, we expect to kick off the current new year at this award-winning site. We'll be exploring "Aristotle's error" all year long. Last night, Don Lemon got things started.
"Man [sic] is the rational animal?" That's what Aristotle is constantly said to have said. But the industry known as cable news runs on nothing but novelization. And so it was that, at 11 PM, Lemon was seen saying this:
LEMON (1/31/19): I'm Don Lemon. Major developments tonight in the Russia investigation. So, we're devoting this entire hour to an in-depth look at all things Russia.So cool! Lemon would be devoting the entire hour to All Things Mother Russia. We'd have none of that bullshit about health care or foreign wars or the ways our public schools work.
It was going to be All Things Russia, for the entire hour! Lemon's bosses had based their decision on the "major developments" which had happened that night in the Russia probe.
This was bullroar all the way down. As he continued, Lemon described the major developments which justified the fact that he would devote the whole hour to the entertaining, true crime drama which dominates CNN.
This was Lemon's fuller statement as he kicked off the hour. He listed three developments:
LEMON: I'm Don Lemon. Major developments tonight in the Russia investigation. So, we're devoting this entire hour to an in-depth look at all things Russia.As it turned out, these major developments weren't "major." It would be a stretch to refer to two of them as"developments" at all.
First, we have our breaking news for you. The president telling the New York Times he never spoke with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks.
According to Mueller's indictment, a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about what WikiLeaks had on Hillary Clinton. But Maggie Haberman of the New York Times tells me the president insisted the direction did not come from him.
We're also learning that Mueller's team has seized what they call "voluminous and complex evidence" from Roger Stone. This includes several years worth of information collected from Stone's iCloud accounts, e-mail accounts and hard drives.
Also, tonight, CNN has exclusive reporting that Donald Trump, Jr.'s three mysterious phone calls, before and after the now infamous 2016 Trump tower meeting, were not with his father. This is according to new information obtained by Senate investigators showing the blocked calls from between Don Junior and two of his business associates.
President Trump seizing on the news tonight tweeting, "just out, the big deal very mysterious Don Junior telephone calls after the innocent Trump tower meeting that the media and Dems said were made to his father, me, were just conclusively found not to be made to me. They were made to friends and business associates of Don. Really sad."
Didn't credit us with the reporting because that's where it came from, exclusively from CNN. But it's clearly a positive development for the Trump family. But let's not forget that Trump, Jr. did meet with Russians about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Let's discuss now all of this. Shimon Prokupecz, Susan Glasser, Phil Mudd, and Harry Litman, good evening to all of you.
Trump said he never spoke to Stone concerning WikiLeaks? That's right up there with being told that water was running downhill.
Mueller's team has seized what they call "voluminous and complex evidence" from Roger Stone? Until such time as the material is reviewed, that's a complete and total nothingburger too.
As such, two of these "major developments" were barely "developments" at all. Then, as he completed the rule of three, we found Lemon burying the lede!
Uh-oh! As it now seems to have turned out, those famous phone calls by Donald Trump Junior didn't go to his father after all!
For well over a year, cable script-readers have been suggesting and saying that those phone calls had of course gone to Trump Senior. Now it had apparently turned out that those twenty million speculations had all been wrong.
Given the endless insinuations of the past year or so, this actually was a development. As if by law, Lemon sent it to the bottom of the pile, complaining that the president hadn't credited CNN for reporting, after all this time, that its endlessly pleasing speculations had been endlessly false.
(He then threw in the point about Trump Junior receiving the dirt. In the business, this is known as Keeping Script Alive.)
This is the way this stupid game has been played for years. Lemon didn't want to bore us rubes with talk about all those health care proposals. Instead, he wanted to talk about the true crime drama his low-IQ corporate network has been endlessly peddling.
He couldn't come out and tell us that he was peddling true crime drama. So he pretended he had a set of "major developments." He then introduced a quartet of hacks prepared to extend the fraud.
This con game has characterized our "mainstream coverage" forever. In October 1999, Candidate Gore and Candidate Bradley staged an erudite discussion of health care in their first Democratic debate.
In the press room, three hundred journalists hissed, jeered and booed every time Gore spoke. (Three major journalists agreed on this astounding report, which everyone else disappeared.) Then the reporting and the the punditry began.
Over at the Washington Post, Mary McGrory had good health care herself and didn't much care if you did. And so, the glorious Pulitzer winner started her column like this:
MCGRORY (10/31/99): Vice President Albert Gore came to his fateful encounter with newly menacing challenger Bill Bradley carrying heavy baggage. He was wearing an outfit that added to his problems when he stepped onstage at Dartmouth College: a brown suit, a gunmetal blue shirt, a red tie—and black boots.She never discussed the health care proposals. She kept it up in her November 4 column, complaining about the fact that Gore had dared to hire Naomi Wolf as an adviser. "We're told she was responsible for his distracting new suit, a three-button brown affair that caused much nostalgia for navy-blue serge," the award-winning columnist wrote.
Was it part of his reinvention strategy? Perhaps it was meant to be a ground-leveling statement—"I am not a well-dressed man." It is hard to imagine that he thought to ingratiate himself with the nation's earliest primary voters by trying to look like someone seeking employment at a country music radio station. Maybe it was the first step in shedding his Prince Albert image.
Gore's suit had proven distracting that night. Thanks to Wolf, it had three buttons. Also, the suit had been brown!
This is the way these rational animals have played it since the dawn of this era, when they literally hid in the bushes hoping to catch Gary Hart on the prowl.
This is what they've done for more than three decades. This is what Lemon was doing at the start of last evening's pleasing, pointless hour. Prokupecz, Glasser, Mudd and Litman were all happy to serve as Lemon's enablers.
(Way back when, before the brown suit. Glasser joined Ceci Connolly in a pair of crackpot front-page reports about the allegedly crazy ways Candidate Gore was spending big gobs of Big Money. For two real-time reports from this site, you can just click here.)
Last night, it was Mother Russia for the full hour! This is the product the public is sold as the cable nets rake in the cash thanks to Trump. Health care proposals can walk the plank. We the people aren't "rational" enough to see what these creatures are doing.
Aristotle's famous error hides the truth about the functioning of our floundering species. Is it all anthropology now? We expect to see the new year start at this site at the start of next week.