The circle of stupidity

A few days ago I watched CNN International for a couple minutes while a reporter of CNN told his story about how he was among the reporters who supported the WMD scare in 2001-2003. He used a lot of archived video footages and told a story of a reporter who was erred by a mysterious mistake, along with supposedly everybody else. It was a story about the WMD scaremongering as a kind of force majeure.

I can't tell if he produced that garbage because CNN International wanted to fill some minutes on the cheap or because he felt some inner urge to excuse himself being an utter failure as a journalist.

I think this was a waste of time. Apologist and history revisionists are useless. What's really of interest is how to get it right next time and how to keep scaremongering and warmongering off the airwaves altogether.

This really useful question and the debates about it that should happen and enjoy much attention do not get much time on the airwaves.

There's probably a reason: We simply don't get it right, so every generation produces its own utter failures of this kind.  Thus we never reach a period in which the failure folks have left the top jobs and don't obstruct the progress driven by those who do not have the urge to cover up gross failures (because they didn't commit any yet).

Some great physicist once said that science progresses as quickly as the old professors die. No progress can be made while they still block progress.

Yet as societies we allow the old guard to stay in the spotlight until the new guard committed to the same follies. 

Now the real question: How can we break out of this circle of stupidity?



  1. A bloody war or a sickly season?

  2. One way would have been to have punished to the point of breaking those people were were responsible while destroying the reputation of those who were foolish enough to steno the lies of those responsible.

    We appear to be unwilling to do that; therefore there is no deterrent to repeating this process over and over again.

    1. The press is supposed to do hold the politicians' feet to the fire, but it was a failure itself.

      Non-professional media such as blogs don't help much either. The MilBlogosphere clearly shows symptoms of preferring cheerleading for the hawkish positions.

      It would help if those really troublesome language barriers would fall and people would consume foreign news more, but on the other hand this could just spread the warmongering more. It's interesting to see how the warmongering propaganda did spread from the USA to UK and Australia much easier than beyond the language barrier.

    2. It is interesting how joined at the hip politicians and the media are. In Canada, our Prime Minister was very unenthusiastic about going to war in Iraq. As a consequence, many media voices were skeptical about the merits of war in Iraq.

      Of course, Canada is a funny place, in that we have two languages. Maybe the skepticism was a backlash from the Quebecois media.