Saturday, June 04, 2005


The NYT editorial pages roll on like a Panzer corps stuck in the mud in Russia. Their latest entry in the "Clueless in America" beauty contest is this top contestant:
Matt Miller! "Here he comes, Missed America!" Brooks better pretty himself up more, his crown has a contender! All these weaklings follow their leader, Bush, into one hysterical trap after another and they wonder out loud, what is wrong with evil people like you and me!

Why, we are partisan! Geeze. We should be more open minded!
Is Persuasion Dead? Speaking just between us - between one who writes columns and those who read them - I've had this nagging question about the whole enterprise we're engaged in. Is persuasion dead? And if so, does it matter?

The significance of this query goes beyond the feelings of futility I'll suffer if it turns out I've wasted my life on work that is useless. This is bigger than one writer's insecurities. Is it possible in America today to convince anyone of anything he doesn't already believe? If so, are there enough places where this mingling of minds occurs to sustain a democracy?"
Seriously, the real question is, "Is Matt brain dead or just stone stupid?" As a super tidalwave of propaganda and just plain lying overwhelms mainstream media they meditate on all sorts of metaphysical questions that merely reveals how messed up they have become.

Yes, Matt, dear, you not only wasted your useless life writing garbage that is worse than useless, you are unable to change course which is why you wrote yet another useless and stupid article. You need help.
Let's face it: the purpose of most political speech is not to persuade but to win, be it power, ratings, celebrity or even cash.
Cash? Why didn't this poor man mention all the bribes to writers that Bush has ladled out tons of cash so generously? And why Ann Coulter ended up on the cover of Time magazine? I look just as good as she and I can't even penetrate their letters to the editor there! And the mainstream media pays the whores well, too. Step out of line and they flatten you...only if you are on the left. We have to walk on eggshells while Ann and Rush and others can commit crimes and lie and make threats and everyone pets them and give them pay raises!

Talk about discourse!
The politicians and the press didn't kill off persuasion intentionally, of course; it's more manslaughter than murder. Persuasion just isn't relevant to delivering elections or eyeballs. Pols have figured out that to get votes you don't need to change minds. Even when they want to, modern media make it hard. They give officials seconds to make their point, ignore their ideas in favor of their poll numbers or showcase a clash of caricatures, believing this is the only way to make "debate" entertaining. Elections may turn on emotions like hope and fear anyway, but with persuasion's passing, there's no alternative.
The Swift boat liars used a lot of media leverage to "change people's minds" and not once did they have to resort to soundbites. They were given loving and frequent and long coverage! Kerry was reduced to soundbites.

The fact that this useless writer has to resort to a rank lie reveals his true nature: far from persuading due to marshalling facts, he just makes up stuff and stuffs it into an editorial hoping we will swallow this swill.
I'm not the only one who amid this mess wonders if he shouldn't be looking at another line of work. A top conservative thinker called recently, dejected at the sight of Ann Coulter on the cover of Time. What's the point of being substantive, he cried, when all the attention goes to the shrill?
Hahaha. Another strike from the right using the devastating tactic of trying to make us laugh to death! Yes, Matt, please do some real work for once! Garbage collection, for example.

I don't see too many right wingers wringing their hands over their fellow right wingers getting top coverage. Matt, be a dear and tell the NYT to publish me! You can quit and I won't blame you!
But the embarrassing truth is that we earnest chin-strokers often get it wrong anyway. Take me. I hadn't thought much about Iraq before I read Ken Pollack's book, "The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq," a platonic ideal of careful analysis meant to persuade. It worked. I was persuaded! So what should we conclude when a talent like Pollack can convince us - and then the whole thing turns out to be based on a premise (W.M.D.) that is false?
I wrote to Matt and suggested he read my blog from now on. He obviously can't be trusted to research anything himself. He has no ideas about Iraq, reads only one right wing book and is "persuaded"! And then discovers it was all a lie all along!

Knock me over with a kicked Koran!
If serious efforts to get it right can lead to tragic errors, why care about a culture of persuasion at all? On one level, everyone needs a good rationalization at the core of his professional life; mine holds that the struggle to think things through, even when we fail, is redeeming.
Reading exactly one right wing book is "serious effort"? Obviously, he is from the "reading and thinking is hard work" crew. I recommend a year in a Chinese re-education prison for him. Maybe that will get him to start thinking again.

Why does the NYT publish this swill? Aside from the whinny tone of this obviously sheltered and quite stupid man, how did he get the gig with the Center for American Progress? They hired him? How did he interview? "I am as stupid as you are and equally clueless and can mindlessly repeat propaganda?" Gads. The mind reels.

I remember when the NYT was slightly serious and the world was still round.