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Fact-free commentators paradise
Speaking truth to glower
No sooner do you give someone a thorough bagging because they have been absolutely asking for it all day, ref than they turn around and do something praiseworthy.
Here comes a bouquet, then, for David Seymour, most recently seen in this newsletter being an unexplained item in the bagging area. Well, he is. But it also turns out he has been recently doing good work in the public discourse.
On a recent visit to swivel-eyed radio station Reality Check Radio he was invited to validate their agenda of wrongheadedness, and his response was a very clear: I don’t think so, matey.
Joke interviewer Paul Brennan had his loaded questions ready on two pet topics: COVID-19 vaccines and kids being indoctrinated about gender.
Stuff’s Charlie Mitchell was listening, and Charlie had his number every bit as much as Seymour, as reported here:
“There’s a lot of… what’s the word… concern about some of the new social, I guess, attitudes that are creeping into the classroom,” Brennan haltingly asked Seymour.
“I think you know what I’m talking about. People are concerned about what young kids are hearing in schools by way of, let’s say, even promoting perhaps certain… lifestyles, or life choices. Have you got anything to say about that?”
Brennan didn't want to come right out and declare his bullshit, rather he hoped that broad allusions would be enough of a wink to Seymour to pick up his balls and run with them. But Seymour was not there to play along. Instead he asked Brennan to give concrete examples to back up whatever it was he was so worried about.
“Well, let’s work on the evidence, Seymour responds. “What’s an example that concerns you?”
Brennan clarifies he’s talking about “a lot of the trans talk at schools... gender talk in schools to quite young kids seems to be happening”.
“So, what’s an example of something quite young kids are being told?” Seymour responds.
“I can’t tell you verbatim, but you should be aware of it.”
“Aware of what, exactly? You have to explain it to me.”
On he pressed. What, exactly? And on. And Brennan had nothing.
It reminds me of that tactic I’ve described before that Michèle A’Court uses when hateful talk is proffered as just a joke.
She will feign innocence. She will ask them to explain it. Line by line. Word by word.
Sorry no I don't get it. Yes but why would they do that? But how come? Yes but why?
She will evenly and courteously back them steadily nearer the wall until, in order to explain the joke, they have to say the hateful bit out loud and leave it hanging in the air.
Lazy assumption, unfounded assertion; there’s a lot of it about.
So-called academic Bryce Edwards is very much at home in this fact-free commentators paradise. So bravo, also, to The Standard for taking the time to methodically analyse gaping shortcomings in his recent coverage of the Green Party's internal politics.
Will Reality Radio or Bryce Edwards be taking a long thoughtful look in the mirror in response? Probably not. Speaking reason to emotion does not necessarily change anything, resolve enmity, or chasten anyone. But it is welcome to have it said so loud and clear:
This stuff has no foundation, and it does not deserve to be given the time of day.
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