Back in the day, leftists prided themselves on their ability to detect crap in public discourse. In the late 1960s, lefty educational reformer Neil Postman argued that democracy depended on citizens having a highly sensitive “shockproof crap detector in their survival kit.”
In Teaching as a Subversive Activity, written with Charles Weingarten and published in 1969, Postman posited crap detection as the fundamental mission of education in a democracy. In Washington that fall, Postman delivered a companion paper at the National Convention for the Teachers of English on “Bullshit and the art of crap-detection.”
Today the left is the prime purveyor of the kind of stuff that Postman wanted us to detect. This past Sunday, for example, New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof devoted a column to a health care sob story in the service of Obamacare.
Kristof’s column set off Michelle Malkin’s crap detector. Malkin denominated Kristof’s column quite possibly the crappiest New York Times column for Obamacare ever. The title of Kristof’s column was “Are we going to let John die?” In Kristof’s world, John would live only if we nationalize American medicine along the lines sought by Obama and his congressional allies. Michelle mercilessly mocked Kristof’s lack of journalistic effort and good faith.
That was on Sunday, the day Kristof’s column was published. In the course of the past few days Michelle has done a little digging of the kind she thought Kristof should have done. Yesterday she posted what she called an “Unbelievable update: The crappiest NYTimes column on Obamacare just got crappier.” Clay Waters cuts to the chase (heading slightly abridged): “Michelle Malkin annihilates Kristof’s column.”
Putting ourselves in the position of the protagonist of Kristof’s column, we say to Michelle in the words of the Roman gladiators: We who are about to die salute you.
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