FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2020
The limits of human discernment: "The American people are pretty sharp!"
Upper-end pundits have always known that they should make such statements.
"Man [sic] is the rational animal," Aristotle is said to have said.
These standard bromides help shape the lens through which we view human conduct. According to experts, it may be time to set this framework aside.
Last evening, on NBC Nightly News, Lester Holt ran a report by Kate Snow about people in the Pittsburgh suburbs who believe in QAnon. To watch that report, click here.
A more extensive version of Snow's report had aired on the Today show. Last night, Brian Williams ran the version of the report which was broadcast on Nightly News.
MSNBC has stopped posting transcripts. We aren't going to do their work for them on this occasion.
Meanwhile, as goes Pennsylvania, so may go this year's election. With that in mind, we'll suggest that you watch Snow's reports.
Human discernment is limited. New technologies—talk radio, partisan cable, the Internet, social media—have turned the promulgation of bogus claims into a very big business. It's also true that these new media are prime propaganda vehicles.
(Susan Page joined hands with Candidate Pence to shut down Candidate Harris! It's what white women do! Thus spake our own tribe's very strange Lawrence O'Donnell.)
Adults believe the darnedest things! In our view, NBC News should do a lot more of this type of reporting. After that, it should possibly turn the lens on the things its own cable stars tell us.
Can a large nation survive "cable news?" We aren't entirely sure.