Thursday, March 13, 2014

Did you happen to catch Andrew Napolitano on the Daily Show?

Have you ever watched one of those FOX types blathering and wondered how much of their own bullshit they believe?
Well, Andrew Napolitano's recent appearance on the Daily Show was a pretty good indication.

If you don't feel like watching the video, here's the gist:
Napolitano was on the show making the rather bizarre claim that Lincoln should never have fought the Civil War because slavery was supposedly well on its way to dying out naturally and there was no reason for so many (white) people to have died in the fight over it.

Stewart set up a faux game show pitting Napolitano against Jessica Williams in a Lincoln beard answering questions about slavery with a panel of judges made up of professional historians.

As you might imagine, the professional historians quickly debunk all of Napolitano's ridiculous claims, and Jessica Williams is the best.

Now, if you were a person who took himself seriously, how would you react? Say you went on TV thinking you were making a salient point, one based on what you consider to be your impressive knowledge of and insight into history. And you really think that this point that you are making shows how much smarter you are than the "mainstream" of opinion, everyone thinks Lincoln was a hero, but you know that he really made a tragic mistake costing thousands of lives.
Now imagine that three actual experts thoroughly demolish your  arguments in front of a national television audience. How would you react? Would you protest? Hang your head? Slink off the set? Or would you, like Napolitano, laugh it off with an "ahh, you got me, had ya goin' there, didn't I?" attitude? Because that's pretty much what he does.

This seems like a perfect illustration of the way these people treat facts and knowledge and ideas. They know they're full of shit. And they don't care. They know they can just say anything, no matter how false, and no one will care - at least no one they care about. They know that for their audience and their employers what matters is not whether a statement is true, but whether it fits in with their narrative.
But you'd think they might at least feel a little chagrined about being proven to be full of shit on national television. But I guess you'd have to have a soul for that.