Senator Ted Cruz noted that the Democrats’ latest impeachment of Donald Trump even though Mr. Trump has duly departed from the White House is, “like Shakespeare, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Long-time NBC journalist Andrea Mitchell purported to correct Senator Cruz. On Twitter she sniped, “No, that’s Faulkner.”
But of course, Cruz was right. It’s Shakespeare. Faulkner centuries later wrote a book entitled “The Sound and the Fury” which consciously and famously borrowed Shakespeare’s line, as every high schooler knows (or used to).
The Twitter-verse went wild correcting Mitchell’s erroneous correction. She finally issued an apology of sorts: “I clearly studied too much American literature and not enough Macbeth. My apologies to Sen. Cruz.”
As it turned out, her reference to American literature was apparently in anticipation of the discovery that her ignorance was despite (or maybe because) she was an English Literature major in college.
How idiotic was this illiterate literature major’s foul-up? Let me count the ways:
First, why get snarky with Senator Cruz to begin with? Why not just report that his reference was incorrect if she thought it was, as a news reporter should?
The answer, of course, is that news reporters do that — get snarky — these days when their target is a Republican.
Second, why not double-check that you’re right before correcting someone in front of millions of people?
The answer is that journalists are too lazy to double check things, especially when they think it reflects badly on Republicans.
Third, why not double-check that you’re right when the person you’re correcting is a genuine intellectual? Ted Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, then went on to clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist at the U.S. Supreme Court. In practicing law, Cruz argued nine cases before the Supreme Court.
The answer is that Mitchell is pathologically arrogant.
Fourth, how could any so-called educated person not be aware that this Shakespearean quote, second only to “To be or not to be,” is from Shakespeare? Even I knew the quote was from Shakespeare, and I was an engineering major.
The answer is that she’s not in fact an educated person; she’s a journalist.
Fifth, how could such ignorance have survived an English Literature degree from a prestigious university (University of Pennsylvania)?
I’m tempted to say the answer is that universities aren’t what they used to be. Indeed they’re not, but Mitchell got her degree 54 years ago, back when they were what they used to be.
Mitchell has her defenders, namely other liberal journalists. Several tweeted to her that she shouldn’t feel embarrassed at bit because they, too, didn’t know the source of the quote. Why am I not surprised by that?
Before we flee Ms. Mitchell and her photograph above (courtesy Wikipedia and, no, I didn’t doctor it) and her equally ignorant colleagues, it’s worth reviewing the full Shakespeare quote: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Replace “a tale” with “news” and the quote captures beautifully not just the Dems latest impeachment imbroglio, but the entire trade that we used to call “journalism.”