Idiot Watch

By Keith Kloor | October 7, 2010 11:04 am

Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, a fan of Climate Progress or WUWT, an atheist or pious believer, a postal worker or tenured professor, here is something you all will probably agree on:

We are not just ruled by idiots, we are reported on by idiots too.

  • Tom Fuller

    Mmm, not to belabor the obvious, but you are the media. So am I.
    I don’t agree. I think the percentage of idiots in the media probabl corresponds roughly to the percentage of idiots in the general population. They’re (We’re?) just easier to see.

  • Stu

    “We are not just ruled by idiots…”
    They were before my time, but the Smothers Brothers may have said it best…

  • Keith Kloor

    I was just having fun, Tom. I also never said I was a rocket scientist.

  • David44

    KK, were you speaking to Tom Fuller or Tom Smothers?
    Tommy never said he was a rocket scientist either, just a pilot. He sure got it right about the “more-ons” though.¬† No matter our affiliations, we can all agree with that one.

  • Tom Fuller

    Yeah, but Mom always liked you best. I remember Tom and Dick Smothers vividly, especially when they began protesting the war.
    Sing it!
    Tommy:  I fell in a vat of chocolate, I fell in a vat of chocolate.
    Dickie: What’d you do when you fell into the chocolate?
    Tommy: I yelled fire when I fell into the chocolate.
    Dickie: Why’d you yell fire when you fell into the chocolate?
    Tommy: Cuz no-one would save me if I yelled ‘Chocolate!’
    Lolly doo dum, Lolly do dum rey…

  • David44

    Tom Fuller –
    Speaking of pilots and guys named Tom, betcha you remember this clever genius Tom from the same era:!v=pklr0UD9eSo&feature=related

  • Tom Fuller

    I actually memorized the entire album in fifth grade and sang it in class. ¬†My teacher looked a bit shocked at parts…
    Get into that long processional, step into that small confessional, there some guy who’s got religion’ll tell you if your sin’s original. If it is try playin’ it safer, sip that wine and chew that wafer, two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate…

  • David44

    Doin’ the Vatican, doin’ the Vatican, doin the Vatican raaag!

  • Tom Fuller

    Comedy is not quite the same now. I actually ran a comedy club for four years back in the 80s. There was a lot of talent running around–we had Dana Carvey, Paula Poundstone, Will Durst, Robin Williams and a lot, lot more. But as the Comedy Channel took hold and more suburban clubs opened, the talent got a bit diluted… And when I see most comics on TV these days, I just don’t laugh.

  • Michael Tobis

    Nixon nominated a fellow named Harold Carswell for the US Supreme Court. When it emerged that Carswell was somewhat of a mediocrity, Nebraska Senator Roman Hruska defended the nomination, saying¬†“Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance? We can’t have all¬†Brandeises,¬†Frankfurters¬†and¬†Cardozos.”
    In those days, that was enough to sink the nomination and make Hruska a laughingstock. I wonder if anybody would even note such a comment from a senator today. I’m with the Hruska-mockers myself.
    Fuller suggests that ”¬† I think the percentage of idiots in the media probabl corresponds roughly to the percentage of idiots in the general population. ”

    But idiots should no more be no more visible in a functioning press than they should be on the courts. Certain positions have sufficient importance that they ought to be held, on the whole, by people of above average wit and training.

    Shrugging and saying “we’re not any worse than the people we’re informing” is, to me, a shocking defense. If you don’t have a good nose for what’s true and what isn’t, shouldn’t you be in another line of work?

  • Tom Fuller

    MT, let’s work on getting the idiots out of the climate hysteria game first.

  • David44

    One man’s idiot is another man’s savant.¬† The answer for me is an educational system that teaches people to think critically rather than accept whatever is conventional, popular, or politically correct.¬† How we get there, I haven’t a clue.¬† However, I don’t think we’ll get there with one size fits all.¬† There are a lot of inherently intelligent people who aren’t suited for college.¬† They still need life skills and opportunities to gain skills to earn a living.¬† Recommended reading:
    Shop Class as Soulcraft – an inquiry into the value of work, by Matthew B. Crawford. Pinguin Press 2009.
    He doesn’t have all the answers, but I think he has some of them.

  • http:.// Eli Rabett

    More popcorn please.  Ed Wegman is lawyering up.

  • Barry Woods

    idiots at 10:10 ?

    You decide, no pressure.
    (sorry, could not resist ;) )

    The latest (these are well ‘educated people as well)

    I just (at 8:00 pm), took a screen capture(attached) of 10:10 Campaign people, after they had allready lost 20,000 people.
    ¬†Exploding Mr Creosote (monty python) was still signed up…
    I had read that Watts up reported that Steve Mcintyre, James Delingpole and Anthony Watts had been signed up to 10:10

    Then Watts up – reports 20,000 people removed since Friday…
    And I have a screen capture this evening  (if Keith wants evidence)) following 95,000 down to 73,000
    with Exploding Mr Creosote – signed up (monty Python)

    I did NOT do it..
    How many people even after a cull (red button!) are actually real….?

    There is¬†one less school, my child’s Infant School Headteacher saw to that…

  • Keith Kloor

    Okay, I’m calling a moratorium on the No Pressure punchline in comments. A wee bit overdone now, wouldn’t you say?

    Secondly, Barry, this thread is for politicians and press who are idiots, not artists or advocates.

  • Mike Allen

    I’m reminded of Lord Hailsham’s (at that time Lord Chancellor) response to another member who said that something was true because it was “in the ‘paper”, he responded “So is my horoscope”


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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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