Thursday, July 18, 2002

Good Ann Coulter column.
Coulter has gotten a lot of attention from Katie Couric's contentious interview of her. Coulter said that Couric repeated called Ronald Reagan an airhead based on a false quote from a fictionalized Reagan biography, and Couric denied it. Kausfiles says that Coulter was essentially correct. The Daily Howler also agrees that Couric was wrong, but says that it is not her fault because everyone else in the media was also calling Reagan an airhead. I think that Coulter would have preferred it if Couric used that defense, since the whole point of her new book is that the news media slanders right-wingers.

Andy writes:

Obviously, Ann Coulter is increasingly publicizing the most egregious type of liberal bias: the fiction that liberals are somehow smarter than conservatives. I hear that her book touches on this, noting that the so-called cerebral Bill Bradley had an SAT score in the 400s (and no other real intellectual accomplishment). Coulter's swipe at the intelligence of the NY Times publisher in her column about mother is clever.

But Coulter is just scratching the surface. My information is that Bill Clinton flunked out of pre-med at Georgetown, never achieved anything intellectual, and has yet to have an original idea. Henry Kissinger is another intellectual fake, lacking in analytical and linguistic skills. The more one looks, the more examples one finds of people declared by the media to be geniuses but who are anything but. McNamara, Gould, Oppenheimer, Tribe, Souter, etc. A whole book should be written about this.

There's nothing wrong with intellectual weakness, of course. There is something wrong with repeatedly lying about it in order to gain political advantage.

I agree that many media intellectuals are overrated. Judge Posner has a book on the subject. I think Stephen Jay Gould is one of his examples. He doesn't say Gould was stupid, but Gould has written a number of popular essays and books on science and the history of science that have not held up well under criticism. It seems that he got a free pass by maintaining political correctness. (He died recently.)

No comments: