Without becoming too snarky, I think that news anchors must be clueless about most of the stuff they cover. And, this is especially apropos to the cable news stations such as Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and HLN. Each of these broadcast channels and their respective anchors/hosts have a seemingly endless parade of “EXPERTS” bent on convincing people of all sorts of things.
I have no problems with genuine topical EXPERTS. “EXPERTS,” however irritate the daylights out of me. The former present their opinions based on appropriate backup science and facts. They’re well aware that they DON’T know everything.
Conversely, the latter babble on with endless prognostications that often border on doomsday. Some of them are paid, but, most of them would do it free of charge because they love the sound of their own voices.
They philosophize based on age-old tactical confusion: “If you can’t dazzle em with brilliance, baffle em with bullshit.”
Genuine EXPERTS are limited in what they can predict. And, they know it! They readily admit it. “EXPERTS,” however, are even more limited, but they’re clueless of the fact.
Heart surgeons, for example, can explain in vivid detail the mechanics of a heart attack: how and why they happen. They’re also deadly accurate at developing statistical groupings relative to people who are candidates for having heart attacks.
But, when it comes to predicting that any specific person will have one and when it will occur, they’re not so expert. Statistically they’re fine; specifically they’re not so accurate.
“EXPERTS,” however, seem to thrive in the fields of politics and economics. Don’t get me wrong; genuine EXPERTS work within these fields, but they rarely conjure up enough controversy to make it on the air. So, all we seem to get across the TV and radio airways are the “EXPERTS.”
No matter the topic, whether it is Obama’s chances for reelection, who will win the GOP nomination in 2012, the God people getting Intelligent Design into public school science curricula, climate change, or any one of a slew of others, the “EXPERTS” are there, half of them making predictions that are in diametric opposition to the other half’s.
The fact is that history has persistently shown that the “EXPERTS” are usually hard-pressed to tell us what will happen next month, let alone years, decades, and centuries into the future.
Religion, for example, is raising its head big time throughout the GOP race for the party’s nomination. Bill Keller of the New York Times and Maggie Astor of the International Business Times are terrified that Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry might turn the place into “Jesusland.”
And, true to my “half yes, half no” theory above, Charlotte Allen of the Los Angeles Times and Michael Medved of TheDailyBeast.com echo the sentiment of NO WAY; people are just picking on the Christians again.
I’ve given press to my opinion regarding matters religion many times. I’m not going to rehash it here. For me, religion is a matter of pure faith. As such, it falls outside the realm of rationalism and deserves neither censure nor defense.
People are free to believe whatever they wish; Freedom of Religion is one of our Constitutional RIGHTS.
And, while I’m not going to tune into or contribute money to EWTN, millions of others do it on a regular basis. But, as long as neither side tries to get legislation through the U. S. Congress outlawing the other side, pray or don’t pray as you will.
The majority of people in this country have traditionally wanted their presidents to be churchgoers and at least give occasional tribute to God in some way. However, they do NOT want them to be shrills about it with promises to take us back to the Inquisitions and the stoning of female adulterers—note that the men received ONLY a lecture, although a STERN one.
Whenever I hear of Rick Perry calling for a national prayer meeting to get the nation back on track, I chalk it up to his political opportunism. He’s running for his party’s nomination and this stuff sells well among the most rabid of God-people.
But, for the record, while I’m a life-long Conservative, I won’t vote for him even if he gets it. Check his Texas political record. You’ll soon learn that he’s not the political saint and economic savior he claims.
And, when I hear Michele Bachmann state that God’s sending us warnings, via earthquakes and hurricanes, to get back to His ways, I simply chalk her up as some kind of nut job who believes that gays can pray themselves into heterosexuality.
She reminds me more of Pat Robertson, of 700-Club fame, who blames all of the country’s ills on the gays as he tries to pray hurricanes away from the United States. He apparently believes that we’re God’s favorite country.
The problem with Pat is that he’s an educated idiot who believes every word he speaks and writes. Thankfully, Martin Luther King summed up the danger for the rest of us when he said, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
It’s not that difficult to envision Pat Robertson and Michele Bachmann as the poster boy and girl for this sentiment.
It’s one thing for people like Bachmann and Robertson to THINK such thoughts… even to believe them, as long as they keep them to themselves. It’s quite another matter to say such things on national TV! Loony Tunes!
Of course, saying stupid things is not necessarily a deal breaker for people running for president. One that stands out for me—I voted for him—is former President George H. W. Bush, George W’s daddy.
“I don’t know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.” Yep, he actually said it; and, true to form, 50% of the “EXPERTS” agreed with it and the other 50% disagreed.
What’s even scarier for me is that he’s MUCH older than I am and I distinctly remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance YEARS before we became “…one nation under God.”
We became “…one nation under God” because President Eisenhower, along with the mighty clueless in this country, were concerned that all those boogeymen commies would take over the world.
While we were all a might on edge back then, the communists are not much of a threat any longer. However, God notwithstanding, things are a whole lot scarier NOWADAYS! But, it’s not God’s fault.
The late William F. Buckley nailed the source of the blame for this country’s woes—years before it became this bad—when he concluded—and I’m paraphrasing—that we’d be better off randomly selecting 535 names from a national phone directly as our Senators and Representatives than the current crowd we’ve elected.
The man, at least in my opinion, was an egocentric mountain of “EXPERT” pomposity when it came to worshiping at the altar of Conservatism. BUT, he hit this one right on the bull’s-eye: a virtual EXPERT if I may.
Joe Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. You may comment on his column by clicking here.