Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Quickies: “Just Asking Questions”

     Yet another example of why I and so many others hold the eponymous founder of the Ace of Spades HQ in such high esteem:

     There is a game in politics. The Truthers played this game; some politicians hoping to curry favors with the Truthers played it. Like John Kerry.

     The game goes like this: While not explicitly endorsing a conspiracy theory for which there is no evidence, you sort of talk it up to maintain its viability as a political attack point. You don't say definitively you believe it -- you just say, as Patterico says today, it raises "interesting" questions.

     You keep your "Clean Skin" as far as being a Conspiracy Theorist, and yet you do all you can to suggest to the conspiracy-minded that the conspiracy is All Too Real.

     It's a way to speak as Yasser Arafat did, to two different audiences telling two different stories. You encourage conspiracy theorizing, while (mostly) not committing yourself to any particular version of the conspiracy theory.

     Just Askin' Questions, you know.

     Exactly. And Our Beloved Media know how the game is played. Whenever a politician or a handmaiden initiates a round, his interlocutor has three choices:

  1. To cooperate passively;
  2. To cooperate actively;
  3. To bore in with sharply focused questions that demand an exact statement of the speaker’s meaning.

     Seldom – oh, how seldom! – does a media interviewer elect choice #3. He would risk the disease media types dread above all others: loss of access. Only an interviewer who feels his position in media firmament to be invulnerable, or one who feels he has nothing more to lose and might as well bet his future on a wild gamble, would do so.

     Please read Ace’s piece in its entirety. It’s excellent even by his standards.

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