by Brad Nelson 2/10/15
I find it amusing that because of the Brian Williams incident that Rush has demoted TV anchors from “News Readers” to mere “Narrative Readers.” I think he’s onto something. He usually is.
In the scheme of things, Williams might be a rather harmless Baron Munchausen-like character of relatively harmless embellishments due to a combination of self-aggrandizement and just being sort of a doddering fool. On the other hand, Dan Rather used his platform as major network anchor much like a one-member Soviet tribunal — for an attempted and self-conscious political assassination. And if I were Brian Williams, Dan Rather is the last guy I’d want defending me.
Jonah Goldberg has weakly defended (or diffused) Williams’ lies as basically big fish stories. I’m not down-playing Williams’ lies. But some lies are worse than others. And as a cultural observer, wouldn’t it be grand if all the lies that were told on TV and in the media resulted in a sacking or suspension? When will the fraud of global warming, of Israeli aggression, of Keynesian economics, of supposed Republican racism, or of even the multiverse be cause for a sacking if not at least some words of correction?
I don’t know that human societies have ever lived with truth as a guiding influence. Humans are adept at lying and rationalizing. Arguably much of our brain power goes toward that. But it could be worse today. As Dennis Prager notes, “Truth is not a left wing value.” Nor, as he was saying the other day, is free speech. One look at any college campus is proof of that.
Rush was even a bit hesitant about piling on Brian Williams. Rush had noted that Williams had always been fair to him. What may be remarkable is not that Williams told a lie that was potentially so easily refuted. It’s that his lie was noticed at all in a media that is one big Pravda-like lie in a society that routinely engages in fantasy about the most important things.
There are probably only a handful of prominent people in the media who see through the lies and understand the opposition. I would put that at a minimum of Victor Davis Hanson, Mark Steyn, Andrew C. McCarthy, Mark Levin, Dennis Prager, Jeffrey Lord, and of course Rush himself. Because the lies are so thick and so quickly renewed with fresh ones, it is very difficult even for yours truly to know which end is up sometimes. And it can’t be any easier for all the rest of us in fly-over country. That is one of the powerful features of lies, and more lies. They bury the landscape like a blanket of snow and you can’t remember what reality even looked like.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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