Sunday, January 01, 2006

It's Not Treason, It's Senility

Shrinkwrapped has a fascinating explanation — metaphorical but nonetheless applicable in this case — for the strange behavior of The New York Times in its recent revelation of national security issues.

To use a layman’s term for what follows, where I (and The New York Post) think that the paper of record is toying with treason, Shrinkwrapped thinks they’re nuts:
     There is a curious reaction that is sometimes seen in patients who have had a stroke (CVA or Cerebral-Vascular Accident in medical parlance) in which they do not recognize the loss of function in the area affected by the stroke. They may have been paralyzed on one side of their body but act as if nothing is wrong or they may have cortical blindness for half their visual field but be completely unaware of their visual defect.
So, then…the Old Grey One is simply suffering from some vascular problems — the ones usually associated with old age — and can’t help what it’s doing:
     In today's New York Times, there is an example of "news reporting neglect syndrome" that is so significant that it suggests a life threatening condition which has thus far not been recognized by the victim.
Shrinkwrapped goes on to quote from the follow-up story (an Associated Press article), printed by the Times, in which it is noted that a “firestorm of criticism of the administration” resulted from the Times’ revelations of spying being done inside the US on people suspected of having ties to terrorism. Then he ponders the situation:
     There is no mention in this or later in the story, that much of the "firestorm of criticism" was, in fact, directed at the Times and the leakers who have imperiled our national security and safety for reasons that at best are misguided and at worst are down right treasonous. For a newspaper which touts itself as the "paper of record" and printing "all the news that's fit to print" to leave out much more than half of the story, merely because it doesn't fit their agenda is dangerously misguided. This is a major story about a very significant breach, yet that aspect is ignored or minimized by the Times.
Well, he’s right, of course. They left out half the story. They’ve been doing that for decades, Doctor. The fact is, they’ve been ignoring and minimizing reality — cutting it into tiny pieces to shape their agenda — for decades. But your medical explanation certainly fits the symptoms. The New York Times is simply senile and contentious:
     It is possible that the Times and its reporters literally do not recognize that they are neglecting the 75% of the world who do not agree with their stance. As such, they would not be omitting the news because they do not agree with it, but because they literally do not see it as news.
If a stroke patient who neglects half his visual field is allowed to continue driving, they will almost certainly have a major accident before too long. They may not be suicidal, which requires intent, but instead are in deadly danger because of their own disability, lack of awareness of their disability, and poor judgment. For a so-called news organization to continue publishing when they exhibit such an obvious disability when it comes to recognizing news is likely to prove fatal in the long run.
Shrinkwrapped’s version is much nice than mine: I think the whole organization is rotten, and the remaining bits of healthy flesh don’t begin to cover what is basically necrosis. And nuts or not, they’re a treasonous bunch who ought to be investigated for sedition. Their perfidy is matched only by their mendacity — i.e., they published the story when they did to get publicity for a book one of their writers is launching.

Well, I am fortunate: Shrinkwrapped reads the New York Times so I don’t have to. I hope he wears gloves, and a mask and a gown. Otherwise…


heather said...


Hasn't the word treason been relegated to the trash heap in multicultural societies such as the United States and most of Europe? (much tooooooooooo pc incorrect) It seems the only place this isn't the case is in Islamic nations where freedom of religion/choice doesn't exist.

I totally agree with your last paragrah:

"Well, I am fortunate: Shrinkwrapped reads the New York Times so I don’t have to. I hope he wears gloves, and a mask and a gown. Otherwise..."

There isn't an antidote strong enough for that!

heather said...

I forgot to mention, as a part time resident of Arizona, I was surprised to find they issue a drivers license until you turn 65. IOW if you are 20 when you move to Arizona, you won't have to take any type of test until the age of 65! Isn't that great---you can be legally blind and still drive! I call it population control. Trust me--this is TRUE!!

PhilippinesPhil said...

So many analogies, so little time. NYT, beware!

"Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."

"Not guilty by reason of insanity."

Like my mama used to tell me: "Don't listen to those mean kids. They just don't know any better."

Chinese Proverb: A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood.

Italian Proverb: He who knows little quickly tells it.

Italian Proverb: He who knows nothing doubts nothing.

Latin Proverb: It is easier to pull down than to build up.

African Proverb: When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

Epaminondas said...

What's latin for elitist arrogance and superiority infused with uncontrollably venomous BDS and political outcome desires masquerading as patriotic concern for civil liberties?

Archonix said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Archonix said...

Nero Caesar.

pst314 said...

"For a newspaper which touts itself as the paper of record..."

When I made that complaint to a journalist she said that "paper of record" implied no expectation or requirement of objectivity or honesty. And she said that as if it was a defense of the New York Times. She seemed to have no awareness that the NYT used to be more honest and accurate. Whatever kool-aid they drink in New York must also be available here in Chicago.

Papa Ray said...

"What's latin for elitist arrogance and superiority infused with uncontrollably venomous BDS and political outcome desires masquerading as patriotic concern for civil liberties?"

I don't know what the latin is, but in Texas we call it Treason.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Uncle Pavian said...

Hmm. If the New York Times is suicidal, or at least an immediate danger to itself or others, my impulse is to let them self destruct.

I have a vague memory of somebody saying, "When your enemy is destroying himself, let him."

I'll miss those crossword puzzles, though.

Dymphna said...


I don't know if there is a Latin word, but the Greek one is hubris. I guess the closest we can come to that is the sin of overweeing in "pride goeth before a fall."