Pesky little details
Posted by aogThursday, 04 October 2007 at 13:37 TrackBack Ping URL

There was some report on the BBC last night about the current Korean talks aimed at ending the Korean War (what a quagmire!). Naturally the BBC injected as much moral obtuseness as possible. The one that struck me was the discussion of how the end of the war could benefit the Koreans, because as of now they have such a very difficult time visiting each other across the border, or even making phone calls to separated families. This was done in a completely generic way, as if it was the joint policy of both North and South to inhibit the flow of people and communication. I would not be surprised to find out that it wasn’t propaganda or moral equivalence, but that the reporter really had no idea of the root cause of the blockage, therefore it must be both side’s fault. I won’t even go in to why he would think that the official end of the war would open the borders, just like it did for West and East Germany.

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Peter Burnet Friday, 05 October 2007 at 04:34

Yes, I think you are quite right. We do have a tendency to attribute far more knowledge and historical insight to the general soft left and MSN that is warranted, and to therefore assume they are true ideological adversaries rather than just inhabitants of a kind of political and socio-economic Disneyworld. It’s been quite a few decades since history and geography have been taught with any kind of seriousness or sense of purpose and the modern mind’s intellectual hyper-democracy and general disdain for the past all combine to make for voids as much as a distortions. Ditto for the “my historical analysis works for me” crowd. It really isn’t terribly promising to try and discuss the dangers of appeasement with someone who isn’t quite sure who won World War 11, but if you try, don’t be surprised when he gets very indignant at the suggestion that makes his opinion on appeasement any less probative than yours. And then there is the pseudo-Freudian bafflegab that has gripped public discourse that will surely someday lead us into a true barbarism. Forget the facts, m’am, just give me the the grandiose abstracts. Shortly after 9/11, Mark Steyn parodied all this mercilessly when he gave us the spectre of a mass of fresh-faced American undergrads at liberal schools looking all serious and intoning things like: “Poverty leads to exploitation, which leads to resentment, which leads to alienation, which leads to terrorism.”, to which Steyn said the only intelligent answer would be: “What is the capital of Saudi Arabia?”. Unfortunately, those undergrads grow up and become things like BBC reporters and, eventually, supervisors of BBC reporters.

erp Friday, 05 October 2007 at 08:06

You are both right that reporters are clueless ideopaths, but what of the vaunted editors (you remember those — the people missing from blogs which is why blogs are rampant with nauseous nonsense). Editors must have at least the basic smattering of facts, like who won WWII and which Korea is keeping their people in starvation.

Well maybe not. What I keep forgetting is that feelings trump facts and moral equivalency trumps the truth.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 05 October 2007 at 11:13

It’s not just that these people are ignorant, it’s not even that they’re generally unaware of their ignorance, but that (as Mr. Burnet points out) when confronted think you are wrong to consider such ignorance relevant.

The editors I think are frequently ideologues, but my friend the Intrepid Girl Report is my age and her colleagues, when she was a college student, were just as blinkered then as these reporters are today. Those colleagues are now editors.

erp Friday, 05 October 2007 at 11:19

Your age being?

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 05 October 2007 at 12:16

That’s rather personal :-).

The same as Andrea Harris (I think our birthdays were within a couple months, but definitely with in a year). More than 30, less than 60.

erp Friday, 05 October 2007 at 15:17

You brought it up, so a according to the rules on the lawyer TV programs, I get a follow up question.

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