SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2022
Also, Harvard professors and Woodruff: A truly remarkable "news report" appears in today's New York Times.
We're sorry to be the ones raising this topic. But this highly peculiar news report involves the death of Bob Saget.
We cite the news report because it displays the peculiar behavior of our upper-end "press corps." The news report, by Benjamin Mueller, begins as shown below, headline included:
MUELLER (2/12/22): Bob Saget’s Autopsy Report Describes Severe Skull Fractures
Bob Saget, the comedian and actor, died after what appeared to be a significant blow to the head, one that fractured his skull in several places and caused bleeding across both sides of his brain, according to an autopsy report released on Friday.
The findings complicated the picture of Mr. Saget’s death that has emerged in recent days: Far from a head bump that might have been shrugged off, the autopsy described an unmistakably serious set of injuries that would at the very least have probably left someone confused, brain experts said.
The report, prepared by Dr. Joshua Stephany, the chief medical examiner of Orange and Osceola counties in Florida, ascribed Mr. Saget’s injuries to a fall.
“It is most probable that the decedent suffered an unwitnessed fall backwards and struck the posterior aspect of his head,” Dr. Stephany wrote, referring to the back of the skull.
The headline says that Brother Saget suffered "severe" skull fractures (plural). According to Mueller, Saget is now known to have died "after what appeared to be a significant blow to the head, one that fractured his skull in several places."
(Mueller never explains why he's still prepared to assume that there was only one blow to the head, given the extent of the injuries.)
According to Mueller, the findings in the autopsy report have "complicated the picture of Mr. Saget's death." The findings suggest that Saget didn't die from a mere "head bump that might have been shrugged off," as earlier reports had suggested.
According to Mueller, the autopsy report "described an unmistakably serious set of injuries." Later, Mueller reports what he has been told by at least some of the "brain experts" with whom he has spoken:
MUELLER: Some neurosurgeons said that it would be unusual for a typical fall to cause Mr. Saget’s set of fractures—to the back, the right side and the front of his skull. Those doctors said that the injuries appeared more reminiscent of ones suffered by people who fall from a considerable height or get thrown from their seat in a car crash.
The autopsy, though, found no injuries to other parts of Mr. Saget’s body, as would be expected in a lengthier fall. The medical examiner ruled that the death was accidental. The local sheriff’s office had previously said there were no signs of foul play.
Puzzling! The set of fractures involved in this death appear to be "reminiscent of ones suffered by people who fall from a considerable height or get thrown from their seat in a car crash." That said, the autopsy "found no injuries to other parts of Mr. Saget’s body, as would be expected in a lengthier fall."
At this point, we offer these findings—findings drawn from the world of universal experience and basic common sense:
As a general matter, it's hard to fall from a considerable height when one is in one's hotel room. It's impossible to get thrown from one's seat in a car crash when in such a setting.
By now, anyone with an ounce of sense would perhaps be asking an obvious question. Horrifically, is it possible that Brother Saget was the victim of an assault?
Under the circumstances, it's the world's most obvious question. But Mueller shows no sign that he ever posed that question to the brain experts with whom he consulted.
Meanwhile, who knows? Perhaps if he had asked that question, Mueller would have been told that Saget's injuries do not suggest some such event.
But alas! Like the dog which refused to bark, Mueller refused to address that obvious question in his news report. Times readers are restricted to the one suggestion found in this paragraph:
MUELLER (continuing directly): “This is significant trauma,” said Dr. Gavin Britz, the chair in neurosurgery at Houston Methodist. “This is something I find with someone with a baseball bat to the head, or who has fallen from 20 or 30 feet.”
At last, a baseball bat is mentioned! That one tiny hint is allowed!
Stating the obvious, we don't know what caused Saget's death. Nor do we know why a major newspaper would publish such a strange news report.
On the other hand, we've been puzzled since Thursday night by mainstream journalists' refusal to ask the world's most obvious question about these autopsy findings. Once again, that obvious question would go like this:
Is it possible that Brother Saget was the victim of an assault?
On Thursday night, we marveled at the strange "discussion" of this topic involving Don Lemon and Sanjay Gupta. Absurd discussions involving Lemon are nothing new to cable news viewers, but Gupta has always struck as highly competent—and their discussion was notable for The Obvious Question Which Didn't Get Asked.
As of Thursday night, how serious did Saget's injuries now seem to be? At the start of the "discussion," Gupta offered this:
LEMON (2/10/22): Let's get some insight on this new information from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Dr. Gupta, thank you so much for joining us. What more have we learned from the autopsy documents?
GUPTA: Well, I think, you know, compared to last night, we are getting more information about just how significant these injuries were. I mean, this was not sort of a simple bump on the head.
You know, there was a concern last night that maybe he hit his head, sort of on the headboard of the bed, or something like that. He didn't recognize the severity of it and went to sleep and had this bleeding in his brain.
That sequence of events still seems to be plausible. But just the extent of injuries, Don, I think is far more than certainly was originally conveyed.
Let me show you here. We put this together, Don, to give you an idea of just how many fractures we're talking about.
Using a picture of the brain, and then a model of the human skull, Gupta proceeded to describe the large number of fractures Saget suffered in various parts of his brain. After that complex demonstration, Gupta offered this:
GUPTA: If I didn't know anything else about this, I would say is this someone who was unrestrained in a car accident. Is this someone who fell down a flight of stairs, for example, or something like that?
When we look at this from a, from a neurosurgical perspective, there's a few different things that we're trying to figure out. What was the mechanism in injury? Again, fall? Car accident? What was it?
But also, the energy of the injury, how much energy was actually put on the skull and the brain. And what we can say from that pattern of injuries, as outlined in the autopsy report, it was a significant, significant blow to the head.
We don't know, again, exactly what caused that. It also does not appear he was on blood thinners, Don, something we talked about last night, which could make, you know, the bleeding worse.
But from that force alone, there was enough to cause fractures in the skull, and bleeding on top of the brain.
Based on Saget's multiple fractures, Gupta would have thought that he had been in a car accident, without his seat belt on. He said that Saget had received "a significant, significant blow to the head"—and that word was repeated for emphasis.
In his usual fashion, Lemon stammered out a generally pointless non-question question. In response, Gupta continued to describe the severity of Saget's injuries, perhaps attempting to offer some hints:
GUPTA: This idea that someone was, you know, in a hotel room and sort of slipped and fell or hit their head on something—you know, a cabinet or the headboard or something causing this degree of injury—I think would be very unusual.
Again, if there is something else, where, you know, he fell flat on his back and on the side, also on the side of his head and that caused this pattern of injuries, perhaps. But it also seems like he was at least lucid enough maybe to even have a conversation and get into bed after that. So it's kind of, it's a little bit hard to piece together.
This is certainly someone, if he had come into the hospital, to the emergency room, would have, you know, gotten a CAT scan, and most likely an operation to try and take that pressure off of this.
If you look at, you know, these types of head injuries across the board, people who have significant head injuries who then develop some amount of bleeding on top of the brain or within the brain, it happens in about a quarter of the time.
But again, this was not just a simple blow to the head. I think that that's what we can say. It was significant, you know, it really was an unprotected, it seems, you know, blow to the head. Maybe falling straight on his back. But still, how does one get fractures above the orbits over here at the same time? Was there some back and forth to the head at that time?
It's tough to talk about. It's so sad, Don, just the overall, you know, whatever happened here. Now, we may never know for certain what happened. But this would not be something that you would expect just from, again, a simple blow to the head. Something much more significant happened here.
Was Gupta dropping hints, perhaps in the face of CNN policy? "This would not be something that you would expect just from a simple blow to the head," he now told Lemon. "Something much more significant happened here."
Gupta had stressed, again and again, the severity of Saget's multiple injuries. But along the way, an obvious question had gone unasked: "Is it possible that Saget was the victim of an assault?"
That question went unasked. Instead, in standard "cable news" fashion, Lemon responded with this:
LEMON (continuing directly): Boy, boy. Dr. Gupta, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
With that, the "discussion" ended.
We watched that five-minute "discussion" in real time Thursday night. We wondered if anyone watching the segment had failed to wonder whether Saget had perhaps been the victim of a violent assault.
We felt fairly sure that no one could have failed to wonder about that possibility. That said, Lemon didn't ask this obvious question, and Gupta didn't speak to the possibility in an explicit way.
Is it possible that Saget was the victim of an assault? We have no way of knowing—but even today, 36 hours later, the New York Times still isn't willing to ask.
Instead, the Times doles out one tiny hint. “This is something I find with someone with a baseball bat to the head," one brain expert is quoted saying. There is no attempt to examine that suggestion.
Why does your "press corps" behave this way? We can't answer your question.
In this deeply unfortunate instance, we're reminded of the press corps' refusal to consider the possibility that Donald J. Trump is, and has been, mentally ill. There are certain topics they just won't discuss. Instead, they keep feeding us product.
We were amazed by the dog which didn't bark as we watched Thursday night's segment. Thirty-six hours later, we see the lordly New York Times playing the same reindeer game.
We're going to stop right here today, but we'll point in two other directions. We'll point to the clueless behavior of three dozen Harvard professors within the course of the past week. We'll also point to Judy Woodruff''s behavior on The PBS NewsHour last night.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our top journalists and our top professors are often strangely inept. They agree to say things which are hard to defend. They agree to suppress the world's most obvious questions.
Do we live insider The Matrix? We don't know, but we do know this—we live inside the novelizations which come to us from these frequently incompetent upper-end sources.
This situation dates back decades. It involves the Standard Group Statements they agree to make, and the topics they're too clueless to notice, or simply refuse to discuss
Brother Saget took a terrible blow (or blows) to the head. In the hands of these consummate fops, no further questions have been asked.
At some point, someone is going to address the question we have raised today. Larger parts of our failing society's warring novelizations will never be discussed.
Dearest darlings, use your heads; it simply isn't done! Each tribe has its favored claims. Within the tents of these warring tribes, few voices ever dissent.