Skip to comments.THE FINE ART OF BEING FOREVER WRONG
Posted on 04/14/2003 4:50:02 AM PDT by YoungKentuckyConservative
THE FINE ART OF BEING FOREVER WRONG
by Dennis E. Fishel
Have you ever noticed that there are people in advisory positions who never seem to be right, but who never lose their jobs? The investment arena has a lot of them, folks who tell you gold is just the ticket when it hasn't been the ticket for damn near 25 years, or who recommend penny stocks as legitimate opportunities for wealth rather than 1-chance-in-10 gambles. One guy, who shall remain unnamed here, fills radio space with ads for seminars on how to take the "dead equity" in your home and borrow against it to play the market and gain real wealth. He filed for bankruptcy recently, but I've every faith he'll be back. He's done the dive before - several times.
All this weighty stuff came to mind when I saw a political cartoon drawn by Joel Pett in the April 10th issue of the Lexington Herald-Leader. In the background of the drawing, a spent missile sticks out of a Baghdad building. On the street below, happy Iraqis sprint away with looted items hotly pursued by a grinning American businessman carrying a "rebuild contract" and Dick Cheney, carrying a "sub-contract" with a Halliburton letterhead. Most readers don't realize it, but the art being displayed in that cartoon is more than just drawing and a snide attempt at humor. Under the surface, a much more intricate artform is being woven on the loom of deception. It's meant to shade the eyes...and it's made of wool.
Media leftists, both columnists and cartoonists, spend most of their lives being wrong. But that isn't to say that they're necessarily dumb, for it takes a lot of ingenuity to retain their positions of public notoriety when their actual performance is so pathetic.
Almost to a person, this group spent the last eighteen months painting pictures of doom and gloom over our war on terror. Afghanistan was to be the next Vietnam. Thousands of American soldiers would die there. Better to appease our antagonists so they won't hate us, they wrote, in spite of the fact that this tactic has, in all of history, never worked. Afghanistan was won quickly and clinically, so they moved on to our next target, Iraq. It would be the next Vietnam, they wrote again. Thousands of American soldiers would die there. Better to try the UN resolution ploy just one more time. Surely Saddam wouldn't think us weak for allowing him to knock that chip off the bony UN shoulder 18 times in a row. Besides, we already had enough hatred from the French without ticking off the Iraqi people, too.
Once again, the pundits of the press have been proved wrong. And in record time. Never in the history of man has a war been fought with such clinical precision. Never. There was so little loss on our side and so few civilian casualties among the Iraqis, it's astounding. The hatred still comes from the French - and that's a big "So what?" - but not from the Iraqi people, as it turns out.
So what does a Professional Wrong Person do at a time like this? How does a Helen Thomas or Maureen Dowd or Thomas Friedman or Molly Ivans...or Joel Pett...deal with yet another egg facial?
Well, pretty much the same way the guy who's forever predicting the end of the world does. When, after standing on his street corner for days upon days with a sign telling us to repent by a certain date, the dreaded hour comes and goes with no Rapture, he simply goes home and makes another sign with a new date before resuming his position on his corner. The problem is that, while no one takes the doomsayer very seriously, the Dowds and Thomases and Friedmans and Ivanses and Petts of media lose no credibility for being the lousiest predictors the earth has ever seen. It's fair to say that if accuracy and truth were prerequisites for their employment, they'd have been gone and forgotten long ago. That means their employers seek a different attribute from these people, and that attribute is about to go on display.
In future weeks, the success of the Iraq campaign will be downplayed. Even the story of young Jessica Lynch will be derided as sensationalist pap (in fact, it already has been). As Pett did in his stupid cartoon, predictions of American opportunism and oil company greed will surface once again as reasons for our Gulf exploit. Isolated Iraqi tragedies will get major space; overall joy and improvement in that nation will be largely ignored. The disapproval of squishy France and her United Nations lackies will be wagged at us in the editorials of American publications like Mom's index finger.
And, sadly, some of us will allow the pride we should feel for being the only NON-imperialist superpower in history to dwindle under their guidance. They know that. That's why they play this game of deception. That's what makes a columnist or cartoonist who's perpetually wrong valuable. Their talent isn't in being right; their talent is in convincing you their wrongness never happened in order to lead you down a preordained path.
There is an ultimate irony to all this, of course. That shabby guy standing on the corner predicting the end will someday be right, even if it's just once. Whether Dowd, Thomas, Friedman, Ivans and Pett ever will is still open to question.
No, not mine. But I receive his works on a regular basis (he maintains an e-mail forum). I'm encouraging him to put a site up, but it hasn't materialized as of yet. Very keen of you to notice I've posted some of his material before.
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