March 26, 2007
The New Media Math: 3 + 2 = 2.5
Quick quiz: According to this AP article, how many Republicans have now turned against Alberto Gonzales and joined hands with Democrats to force Karl Rove to testify?
Republican support for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales eroded Sunday as three key [GOP] senators sharply questioned his honesty over last fall's firings of eight federal prosecutors. Additionally, two Democrats joined the list of lawmakers calling for Gonzales' ouster.
Several Republicans also urged President Bush to allow sworn testimony from his top aides about their role in dismissing the U.S. attorneys - a standoff threatening to result in Capitol Hill subpoenas of White House officials.
Let's see... "three key senators," plus "several Republicans" equals... mumble mumble, carry the nine... that would be -- less than three, right?
How is that possible? By the "new math" of the media elite, of course:
- The "three key senators" who questioned Gonzales's honesty yesterday were Arlen Specter (R-PA, 43%), Lindsay Graham (R-SC, 83%), and Chuck Hagel (R-NE, 75%).
- Yet despite the AP trying their level best to make it appear as if those "several Republicans" calling for Rove and Harriet Miers to testify under oath were different from the group above, in fact they were the same -- with one MIA: Lindsay Graham opposes subpoenaing the president's close aides, urging instead that Congress accept Bush's offer of private discussions to answer questions related to the firing of 8 United States Attorneys.
So in other words, three GOP senators think Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is a liar; but only two of them want to see top White House aides questioned under oath. Hence, 3 + 2 = 2.5... not 5.
The rest of the article merely reiterates the malign mischaracterization of Gonzales's response about his attendance at meetings... and we have already thoroughly discredited this claim.
But at least now we know that the "elite" media, which so often appears illiterate in decoding simple English sentences, is evidently innumerate as well.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 26, 2007, at the time of 6:38 AM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1932
The following hissed in response by: Steelhand
What the hell use is our language for communication anymore? Am I right in my belief that the intellectual use of deconstructionism has been the greatest single negative development of the last 100 years? We can no longer read what is said and understand it, because people parse every jot and tittle to say what they want to say, regardless of what they are saying is true. It used to be called lying; now it is called spin, and we expect it.
So we get, What is is, 3 = 5, and the 16 words in the State of the Union Address.
We have become a nation of amateur lawyers armed with obfuscation of language designed to assault our ability to understand one another.
End of hijacking. You may now return to your math lesson, already in progress.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
I concur in part and dissent in part...
Deconstructionism has nothing to do with logically parsing language; it's a philosophical theory that attempts to look behind the plain meaning of communication for other kinds of signals.
Let's take the infamous 16 words: It is not a new wrinkle to examine the words themselves carefully to see what, exactly, the president said -- before concluding whether he lied or told the truth. That would have been done the same way in 1800 as today.
But you are correct that news agencies treat communications different today than at any time in the past century: They are far more willing to misuse communication to misinform rather than inform.
Sticking with our example, the president's statement was very straightforward. Paraphrased, he said that the British claim that Iraq attempted to buy Uranium in Africa.
Joe Wilson said, in essence, that that was a lie -- because Niger did not agree to sell Uranium to Iraq. But this is a raging non-sequitur: First, because the claim is that Iraq tried, not that it succeeded; second, because there are other Uranium-producing countries in Africa besides Niger.
(And technically also because Bush only said that the UK made the claim, which is demonstrably true; but this would be nitpicking: Bush clearly intends us to believe that the British claim is true, so we will take it as read and not worry about the qualifier.)
Now, I am as close to certain as it's possible to be that some people in the elite media, at least, retain enough understanding of the English language to know the difference between what Bush said and what Wilson responded.
To the extent that any such people promoted or cited Wilson's Op-Ed as a "response" to Bush's statement, especially one that supposedly puts the lie to Bush's statement, then those people are the liars -- starting with Wilson himself. (Say what you will about Joe Wilson, I'm certain his grasp of elementary grammar is excellent.)
While what he said was technically true, it was said with the intent to deceive... and that is the proper definition of a lie.
The last time that was the norm for the elite media was probably in the 19th century; and it's a sad development that they have returned to that dishonorable model as a vehicle to express their hatred of George W. Bush and the Republicans, which has quite evidently overwhelmed their reason.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at March 26, 2007 2:46 PM
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