Media “news” is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

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.”

19 thoughts on “Media “news” is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

    • Oh come now, she looks pretty good for being 103 years old. (And yes, I did just as much research on her age as she did on the source of the “sound and fury” quote.

  1. I guess she cannot even guess where the phrase “Friends, Romans, and countrymen – lend me your ears” came from. Mr. Beaton you’re also neglecting to point out the biggest idiot of the story is the unctuous Jennifer Rubin who jumped in immediately to her defense saying that Ted Cruz misstating where the phrase “sound and fury” came from is a sign that he has no soul. Jennifer Rubin needs to be in therapy. Mitchell finally apologized but Rubin had not.

  2. That Mitchell isn’t even well enough educated to know that authors often borrow, especially from Shakespeare, and that perhaps she should at least look into the matter before going on record with her statement. Also, that she is so arrogant as to brush aside the fact that it was Ted Cruz who made the original statement (everyone I know, knows Ted Cruz is an incredibly well educated genius).

    But it hardly took this incident to make us realize how truly stupid msm journalists often are. After all, for nearly a year they have devoted themselves (when not bashing Donald Trump) to bowing down before BLM, an organization that distracts from the most important problems that plague our inner city residents (fatherless homes, crime, drugs, and the long failing public schools).

  3. For the record, another Shakespeare phrase often quoted is “the lady doth protest too much, methinks” is quoted from Hamlets mother after the Prince puts on a stage performance reenacting the mothers dastardly murder of Hamlets father, the King, all for the sake of acquiring power. Sort of like what Democrats dream about doing with their political enemies.

    • Note that after Hamlet “speaks truth to power” with his clever play within the play, he rashly kills Polonius — the man behind the curtain — which becomes the deep state’s January 6th “insurrection” moment by which to get Hamlet banished from Denmark. What follows, of course, is his death and the dissolution of Denmark itself. There’s a reason this is the greatest work of literature our civilization has ever produced, except perhaps for Paradise Lost — we’re living it right now.

  4. Thanks for the morning coffee spew on the cover email – “And stay there forever.” Wasn’t expecting such an insightful statement. I’m finding fellow AspBeaters in my adventures through the world of blogs. You are very much a wonderful addition to my internet reading.

  5. The sad part is that Beaton could have been supporting progressive Dem senators and attacking a conservative “journalist”. His final line dumps all “journalists” into the same soup.

    BTW, the quote cam from Act 5, Scene 5, Macbeth:

    MACBETH She should have died hereafter;
    There would have been a time for such a word.
    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day 20
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

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