Thursday, December 10, 2009

Are they really that dumb, or just pretending?

Here's another interesting angle in the growing transformation of TV "news" into infotainment. As usual, Tocqueville already explained this over a century and a half ago.

In the Daily Show segment captured by the video clip below, I think Jon Stewart has established that at least some Fox News regulars are pretending to be (even) more stupid and ignorant than they actually are. Gretchen Carlsen, for example, seems to have been assigned the role of Dumb Blonde. But her record suggests that she really can read and write, and probably even knows what "ignoramus" means without having to Google it.

In other words, "Gretchen Carlson dumbs herself down to connect with an audience who sees intellect as an elitist flaw." That looks probable ... and it has some interesting implications.

--Jeff Weintraub

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Gretchen Carlson Dumbs Down
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P.S. Andrew Sullivan notices something else: "Another fun fact when you google Gretchen Carlson: her babysitter was Michele Bachmann." Is it possible that Michelle Bachmann (now a notoriously whacko Republican Congressperson from Minnesota) is only pretending to be an idiot? Unlikely.