SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

CBS and RatherGate: Liberal Cognition

Everyone knows the story now, how CBS' 60 Minutes II and Dan Rather foisted a story in order to smear Pres. Bush. Everyone now knows that it backfired. It blew up quickly and completely. Only CBS remains in denial.

To me, this story represents a highly characteristic way liberals "think," or cognize.

Liberals want a certain result. They start from the end, from the conclusion, and begin working back towards the beginning. All of this is done under the sway of emotions, which liberals regard as sound tools of thinking. The real world knows that emotions are no such thing.

As they crawl retrograde back to the beginning, they deal with the thoughts in the whole chain as follows. Those they like, i.e., those which lead to the conclusion they WANT, they keep. These are good data, according to them.

The thoughts which do not conform to the result they WANT, they "deal with." When possible, they just leave out relevant thoughts that do not conform to what they WANT. This is lying-by-omission.

Often, however, they need to bridge the beginning of the thought chain with the conclusion they WANT. Here they confabulate. They lie. They make up stuff. This is lying-by-commission.

Then they peddle their confabulations in order to produce a desired result.

CBS wanted to hurt President Bush because their boy, Kerry, keeps looking like the dope he is. CBS wants Kerry -- or any Democrat -- in the White House. Kerry exposed himself very foolishly with his pathological emphasis on his Vietnam "service." I suspect the Kerry campaign supplied CBS with the bogus documents, but this remains to be proved. CBS wanted the result so badly that they threw what is left of their tattered objectivity away to put out a lie and try to roll over people's acceptance because CBS is CBS. Now, CBS looks like a propaganda machine which cannot be trusted again to tell the truth.

This type of flawed cognition is one reason why liberals must never be trusted with powerful and important positions in government, academia, and journalism. Our survival must never depend on whether we can rely on someone who cannot tell the difference between his thoughts and his feelings.

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