WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2020
Place our faith in the darnedest people: Art Linkletter would constantly say it, though only in private.
"Humans believe the darnedest things," he would constantly tell us. Thoughtfully, we'd always advise him to throw a "we" in there.
We people do believe the darnedest things; this fact has rarely been more apparent. Consider the example which arose during Obama's second term.
During Obama's second term, a remarkably large percentage of Republican adults told a wide array of pollsters that they believed that the gentleman had been born in Kenya.
The evidence tilted, rather strongly, in a different direction. But Donald J. Trump was making such claims during repeated sessions on Fox, and a wide array of Republican adults had decided to trust him.
For the record, Greta von Susteren had been assigned to serve as Trump's enabler on Fox during these long, ridiculous years. Later, we learned that she had been Rachel's drinking buddy during the long, stupid years in which she served as The Donald's official birther caddie.
We learned this fact because Rachel herself bruited it on the air. When Greta was hired by MSNBC, Rachel aggressively pimped her pal's journalistic greatness. We humans tend to put our faith in the darnedest people!
We people believe the darnedest things and trust the darnedest people. Again and again, modern media, such as they are, help spread the bogus beliefs around.
How do bogus ideas spread? Consider something which happened on C-Span's Washington Journal, early this past Sunday morning.
Greta Brawner was hosting the program this day. During the 7 A.M. hour, she fielded calls from the program's famously well-informed viewers. She asked them how well they thought their state's governor was handling the pandemic.
At 7:27, Robert from Clearwater came on the air. Possibly puzzling Brawner a bit, he shared a shaky belief:
BRAWNER (11/22/20): Robert in Florida, what do you think of the job Republican governor DeSantis is doing?
ROBERT IN FLORIDA: I think he, the governor is doing pretty good, you know, he's doing his job. I also think there's a O-positive that doesn't even get the disease.
BRAWNER: You think there's what?
To our ear, Brawner sounded puzzled.
To hear the full exchange, click here. Robert continued as shown:
ROBERT (continuing directly): O-positive. If you have O-positive blood, you won't even get it. I mean, my whole family's got O-positive, and none of them, they're not even near getting it. I asked other people who have O-positive blood, they're not getting it either. I mean--
BRAWNER: Are you taking precautions nonetheless, Robert, or are you, think that you're immune?
ROBERT: Yeah, I'm immune from it. I won't even get it. I mean, I wear a mask if I'm in a crowd or something like that, sure, save other people from getting it. But my family, and other families that I talk to who have O-positive, don't even get it.
BRAWNER (perhaps a bit sadly): O.K.
ROBERT: So, you know, I think that's pretty good...
Robert's logic concerning his use of masks was perhaps unclear. If he can't get the virus himself, how can he give it to others?
That said, C-Span lets its callers speak without fear of critique or challenge. Possibly for that reason, Robert's logic wasn't questioned this day.
Robert went on to restate his positive appraisal of Governor DeSantis. He complained that President Biden would probably "shut down the whole country for a month or whatever," even though Robert himself "will not get it."
"That's not going to do any good," Robert said as he continued. Concerning the delivery of vaccinations, he expressed this further view:
ROBERT: Why don't they just start giving them out now? Why wait two, three months from now? I mean, I would take it immediately, but I don't even need it, because I'm not going to get it. Period.
Through such transmissions, we humans often end up believing the darnedest things. Such transmissions occur all day long, day after day, in a wide assortment of venues.
Sometimes the transmissions come from President Trump, whose extensive alleged "psychopathologies" are off-limits to the press. (We're citing the assessment of his niece, Mary L. Trump, a clinical psychologist.)
Sometimes the transmissions come from C-Span callers, whose logic and facts are very unlikely to be subjected to scrutiny.
Concerning Robert's factual claim, let's take a look at the record! Such as it is, the (still extremely limited) record suggests that people with type O blood may be somewhat less likely than others to "get it." But "get it" they very much can!
Last month, a report from CNN described the results of two recent studies. According to CNN's Hunt and Howard, one of the studies found this:
HUNT AND HOWARD (10/14/20): A Danish study found that among 7,422 people who tested positive for Covid-19, only 38.4% were blood type O—even though, among a group of 2.2 million people who were not tested, that blood type made up 41.7% of the population.
Uh-oh! According to this Danish study, 38.4% of people who got it were in fact blood type O! On the brighter side, this compared to a slightly larger percentage of type O people in the relevant population.
People with type O blood were 42% of the population, but constituted only 38% of people who tested positive. These findings were less definitive than those which Robert would later report—but report his findings he did.
We humans believe the darnedest things and trust the darnedest people. On some occasions, and in some settings, elite institutions make little attempt to challenge these darnedest beliefs.
Our logic may also tend to be shaky. According to an array of major top experts, we humans have always been like this.
In this morning's report, we've spoken of shaky or bogus beliefs which have come from Over There, from those in the other tribe. We've spoken of shaky or bogus beliefs which are held by others.
Starting next week, we'll be asking award-wining questions:
Over Here in our own liberal / progressive / woke tents, do we sometimes display an inclination to believe the darnedest things too?
Can our logic be shaky too? Also, how about this:
How often have our own darnedest beliefs come to us, live and direct, from the upper-end mainstream press, even from our self-impressed tribe's most honored sachems and warriors?
Are people like us inclined to believe the darnedest things and trust the darnedest people too? We almost expect The Ghost of Linkletter Past to opine on this matter tonight.
Friday: When The Person of Kristi Noem speaks, the AP (politely) listens