“Idiot” in its original form is what I’m talking about here. Ignore both meanings 1 AND 2. Look at the derivation.
1. A person who is considered foolish or stupid.
2. A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.
[Middle English, ignorant person, from Old French idiote, from Latin idiota, from Greek idiotes, private person, layman, from idios, own, private; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]
~ American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. 2011
‘Idiot’ comes to us from Athenian democracy and is the term reserved for those who do not participate in civic life.
America is beset with idiotes.
They have never been to a political party meeting in their lives, even though anyone can pretty much join any party they want to. They have never been to a city council meeting, a hearing of the state legislature nor anything more civic than a free tour of the state capitol.
And their votes count for just as much as yours or mine.
Which makes them easy prey for predators. Example:
“Nearly 70% of the American public doesn’t trust Hillary.”
A fake fact, since it’s a poll intended to become a news story which represents public reactions TO news stories.
Now, to science just as good as statistical models extrapolated for an entire population from a database of no more than about 500 responses, generally:
According to a factual analysis, Donald Trump is the LEAST credible candidate in a field of too many to count, and Hillary is the MOST honest — even exceeding Saint Bernie of Sanders. But that is not the public PERCEPTION.
Idiotes, however, are in command, and we must therefore ask ourselves why reality and fantasy politics are almost exactly at odds, one with another?
Well, as you know, propaganda works. More importantly, GOPaganda works.
Ray listened to the GOP convention.
Ray believed it. Don’t be like Ray.
The fault lies not in propaganda, however, but in a press corpse that has all but given up on their mission statement.
I want to talk to you about a specific incident from last week, and, before it vanishes down the rabbit hole, we need to closely scrutinize it before the lesson and meaning are lost. I give you the mighty CBS News (who, famously, relieved Dan Rather of his anchor chair and thence his job over a document far MORE verified and validated than the “hacked” DNC emails of this week’s ginned-up scandal), since they love their promos, praising the fine, almost Swiss watch craftsmanship of their news stories and their almost superhuman devotion to the Truth. And Journalism. And the American Way.
Funny. None of that highfalutin’ garbledygook and self-congratulation was on display for their coverage of the Melania Trump controversy on July 19th.
I want you to understand something: plagiarism is THE original sin of journalism, tied with making crap up. Which leads me to my final point. But let me take a moment to make this explicit:
Of ALL professions, writers/journalists CANNOT accept plagiarism, since it strikes to the very heart of what the profession is about. Capisce?
So, stealing words OUGHT to be something that professional journalists — especially ones who bray so self-righteously about their “Professionalism” and their “Real Reporting,” like, say, Scott Pelley–find to be utter anathema. Just listen as they attempt to NOT break their arms patting themselves on the back:
But no. They stick to the craven he said/she said school of “reporting” utterly afraid to depend on the evidence of their senses, on their professionalism and their own damned experience. They equivocate. They buck pass. They find anyone who can pretend that Melania Trump DIDN’T plagiarize to bray with equal time, so that the false equivalence form of reportage remains unassailed. After all, don’t want to ever get caught making an honest mistake. Nosirree. Better to lie outright to the idiotes (see the definition above) who have foolishly chosen to TRUST CBS news and their hand-crafted by skilled workers from the finest gold, silver and platinum polished and semi-precious STORIES.
And then, to add the maraschino cherry on top of the fresh cow droppings and pretend that it’s a chocolate sundae, they give us this (and notice that the “professionals” decided to broadcast the evening news from the RNC, which gives it all the audio charm of a hockey rink during a fight):
And THIS is their interpretation of plagiarism– one that embodies all the craven idiocy of those so utterly estranged from any notions of “truth” that the differences have become irreconcilable. Soon, they will be divorced from reality. Who gets custody of the corpse of Edward R. Murrow remains in question.
Here is the first image.
And then, a SOUND bite, because they don’t want you to see the words side by side on the page:
The famous sound bite.
But let me help you out with the written transcript:
The sound bite made type.
This is NOT plagiarism.
If you look at the pieces side by side, there is no question that both express the same sentiment, but hell, THAT sentiment goes back to AT LEAST Cicero (of ancient Rome), which means, by CBS’ Original Reasoning, Harding plagiarized Cicero.
Plagiarism is borrowing both idea and language. If it were not, then virtually ALL news stories would contain plagiarism and Scott Pelley would justifiably be in JAIL.
“Prediction” is soothsaying, but it is NOT journalism
This is an utter insult to the viewers, and, hilariously, five minutes on Google would have ACTUALLY given them a false equivalency. But we can clearly see that it was not CBS News’ intention to play fairly to the “public’s right to know” which is not merely their raison d’être, but ALSO their mission statement and Prime Directive.
The idiotes have been placated. And Scott Pelley can return to vomiting righteous swill about what incredible journalists these poseurs are.
Do you wonder that the idiotes have the idea the Hillary Clinton is a great liar when the demonstrable facts say the exact opposite?
Or, that they take at face value a fellow (Trump) who PolitiFact scores as 91% mendacious (or, nine of ten things he says are lies!)?
No: this is outrageous nonsense, is a failing grade on any middle school report on “plagiarism” and beclowns CBS yet again as Corporate Infotainment.
Infotainment is our modern word for “bread and circuses.” If you’ve been keeping track of the overseas channels– France 24, the German broadcast, BBC and Al Jazeera, you know that we have been fed a constant gruel of “Reality Television” for two years containing virtually zero intellectual nutrition, while the world sinks deeper and deeper into a classic Pre-World-War Antebellum. One that we are not apprised of, since the ratings of “Who Wants To Be President?” have been what the Infotainment complex has been making their ad revenues off of. Donald Trump, as Les Moonves noted, may be disastrous for the country, but he’s great for CBS’ bottom line.
I have a Modest Proposal about what to do with the starving Irish Kids if you need it, Les. It’s more entertaining and equally morally bankrupt. And, it’s in the public domain.
Look, Kennedy DID borrow that line (or, rather, Ted Sorenson did) from Kahlil Gibran. Along with “New Frontier.” But then, so did Ted Kennedy ascribe the famous line to Bobby Kennedy [Wikipedia]:
There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
- Though Kennedy stated that he was quoting George Bernard Shaw when he said this, he is often thought to have originated the expression, which actually paraphrases a line delivered by the Serpent in Shaw’s play Back To Methuselah: “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”. This phrase was first used by his brother John F. Kennedy in 1963 (June 28th), during his visit to Ireland, in his address to the Irish Dail (Government): “George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life, ‘Other people, he said, see things and say why? But I dream things that never were and I say, why not?”
My high school class motto, by the by. But I bring these up NOT to claim the Kennedys were plagiarists, but, rather, to note that IF that was what CBS News was trying to do, they failed miserably and foolishly and clownishly.
Melania Trump committed plagiarism (however you want to parse the actual cribbing author) and CBS News had NO idea how to cover it. Worse, they attempted to manufacture from whole cloth a plagiarism accusation against one of the iconic phrases in US political history, spitting on Kennedy’s grave with ZERO other effect.
Save to placate the idiotes.
Now do you begin to understand HOW Hillary Clinton is perceived as a crook and a liar when the facts do NOT prove this notion?
Idiotes, we have enough of. Predators ON the idiotes we have in far greater abundance than our republic can bear and remain a republic.
illustration is © hart williams 2016
So, channeling a salute from the late George Orwell (not his real name, BTW), we salute CBS for their Ministry of Truth approach to the news. Maybe they can next all get jobs in the Ministry of Love.
Oh, and the little story I broke about Russian hacking of the DNC seems to have taken on a life of its own. Jeepers.