January 12, 2008

Misrepresentational intent

11pm and I knew I would be back online before Sunday morning!

Wasn't Bob Herbert the guy who was raving about the Obama Phenomenon -- "Shake hands with tomorrow. It’s here." etc etc.. after the Iowa win?

After the NH primaries, today he writes that others in the media were "feeding on itself, had lost sight of reality and that the election was bound to be close" while he was the skeptical one all along!!

Jeez...people have short attention spans these days...but manu regular readers of NYT won't forget what they read a week ago, Bob! Its intellectually dishonest at best and is sheer bullshitting* at the very least.

* What bullshit essentially misrepresents is neither the state of affairs to which it refers nor the beliefs of the speaker concerning that state of affairs. Those are what lies misrepresent, by virtue of being false. Since bullshit need not be false, it differs from lies in its misrepresentational intent. The bullshitter may not deceive us, or even intend to do so, either about the facts or about what he takes the facts to be. What he does necessarily attempt to deceive us about is his enterprise. His only indispensably distinctive characteristic is that in a certain way he misrepresents what he is up to. - Harry Frankfurt, in his essay/book, On Bullshit.

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