Reports of our impending demise may not have been exaggerated!

TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2012

What Palin/Gore/Twain never said: An unfortunate fact is becoming increasingly clear:

As a people, we just aren’t smart enough to survive. This thought imposed itself on our will when we perused this photo feature on the Washington Post’s web site.

Here’s how the feature is billed: “Famous Misquotes: What Neil Armstrong, Sarah Palin Didn’t Say.”

We were intrigued by the Palin reference. “Could it be?” we worriedly asked.

Yes, it could! Or so we learned when we clicked to the Post’s explanation of what Palin didn’t say. For obvious reasons, the author of this heartbreaking, unintelligent feature has gone unnamed by the Post:
THE WASHINGTON POST: “I can see Russia from my house.”

No, those words were not spoken by Sarah Palin. Tina Fey, the comedian who skewered the former Alaska governor on Saturday Night Live, said them, based on a Palin interview with ABC News. In September 2008, the then-GOP vice presidential candidate said regarding Russia that "they're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska." That, by the way, is true, on a clear day. An uninhabited island, but still...
Good God! In the past few years, we had begun to wonder how many people think Palin actually made that statement. In the Post’s mind, so many people think she said it that it deserves a correction!

The Post could be wrong, of course. It may be that no one thinks that Palin made that statement. But good lord:

The Washington Post is now issuing corrections of things comedians said in spoofs! Truly, we’re so dumb as a people that we won’t likely survive.

That said, things got worse, much worse, as we continued perusing the Post’s photo feature. The Washington Post also wants you to know that Al Gore didn’t say it.

Horrifyingly, this is the statement the Washington Post says Gore never said:
THE WASHINGTON POST: Created the Internet? Never said that, exactly.

Much was made of then-Vice President Gore's March 1999 claim that "during my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to the nation's economic growth and environmental protection.'' Vint Cerf (often referred to as ''the father of the Internet'') has defended Gore's comment and his role in pushing government efforts to develop the Internet. In 2005, Gore was given a Webby Award for online achievement for decades of work on helping build the Internet.
Hopeless. Thirteen years later, the Washington Post wants you to know that Al Gore never said that he "created" the Internet.

As everyone with two brain cells knows, that wasn't the accusation. Thirteen years later, the Washington Post is still struggling hard to catch on.

We are a very dumb, very gullible people. The last several years have really brought home the range of crazy, ridiculous things we the people are prepared to believe.

In the past, we were rarely allowed to believe ridiculous things. Our dialogue was largely controlled by a small elite; crazy people weren’t allowed in that club. As a general matter, we weren’t exposed to crazy beliefs, let alone encouraged to adopt them.

That had changed by (let’s say) 1999, when the mainstream press corps—people who work for the Washington Post!—began inventing things Gore had allegedly said. Among their various inventions, they claimed Candidate Gore had said that he invented the Internet.

Thirteen years later, the Washington Post is so goddamned dumb that its (unnamed) agents don’t seem to know what the Post itself accused Gore of saying. In effect, the Post is fact-checking itself—and is getting its own initial claim wrong.

Mark Twain joins Palin and Gore in our headline; what is his role in this low-IQ mess? The Post also debunks an alleged misstatement by Twain—if you can believe a thing the Post says at this point.

By the way, did Abraham Lincoln ever say that you can't fool all of the people all of the time? The Post debunks that claim today too. As our intellectual culture slides toward the sea, are they trying to tell us something?

Are we smart enough to survive? For a very long time, we were protected from ourselves by the guidance of a small elite. By now, our elites tend to be IQ 40 too—or so the Post would have us believe, based on this pitiful feature.

Genesis: Why did this feature appear today? The hook for this sad attempt at elucidation was Neil Armstrong’s famous statement from the moon.

Armstrong passed away this week. Maybe he just couldn’t take reading features like this any more.


3 comments:

  1. There's a saying, under communism they treat you like you're dumb, while under capitalism they make you dumb first. I like to think our political elites have it both ways.

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  2. I have had quite a few exchanges with conservatives who will look at
    the exact quote and say, "see, he said he invented the internet." These
    are the people The Daily Howler is often so concerned we not become
    offensive with. I'm not sure here if the Daily Howler is angry about
    the lukewarm debunking, or the fact that it's still
    brought up at all (probably both).

    I believe the "internet" talking point was hyped by the RNC and then
    picked up and repeated by the press during the war on Gore, no?
    At any rate, by election time it was more likely to be brought up in
    derision (yes, I believe the Press was taking note of the impending
    disaster they had labored so hard to create) than as fact.

    Over at the Nation, as The Daily Howler has pointed out, the late
    Alex Cockburn was sadly the last to cite it as a reason to vote for
    Nader (too bad, Cockburn was often vicious but fair), but in the
    same issue Katha Pollit also noted that Naderheads had taken to
    repeating Republican Propaganda.

    Speaking of The Nation, they had a guy named Marc Cooper.
    He also pulled down acres of Space at The LA Weekly, and was
    hired by Ariana Huffington to cover the 2008 race.
    Nobody on the right printed more garbage about Clinton
    and Gore than Cooper ( Gore used Willie Horton was a favorite)
    and one of his last Weekly pieces explained how the election
    of W was ALL Clinton's fault.
    Recently on his Facebook Page, he took note of a UCLA
    event concerning the history of the Internet. "Al Gore, take
    note!" wrote Cooper, who has been thankfully disappeared,
    finally, from the reality based world. But as the Daily Howler has
    noted so often, these people have no shame and they will
    never stop. Say hello to your friends, CecilaMe!

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  3. Sure...next time I have lunch with Nader-heads, Marc Cooper, and Bill Bradley, I'll tell them your knucklehead self says "hi".....

    Sheesh..

    ReplyDelete