I want off this planet:
CRANFORD: I have been at the bedside of these patients. I know what they die from. I’ve seen them die. And this is all bogus. It’s all just a bunch of crap that you are saying. It’s totally wrong.
DANIELS: Well, with all due respect, Doctor, it sounds like you think that you know what you are talking about, so let’s ask you about that. …
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. Hold on a second. You’re so sure of yourself — respond to this. AP had a report yesterday. They said seven doctors have looked at her. Four said she was in persistent vegetative state. You were one of them, hired by Michael Schiavo to do that. There were three others that looked at her that disagreed. How can you be so absolutely sure that everybody that agrees with you is 100 percent accurate and everybody on the other side is a charlatan?
CRANFORD: Joe, Judge — Judge [George W.] Greer disallowed, didn’t believe what [Dr. William] Maxfield [a doctor selected by Terri Schiavo’s parents] said. You got your numbers wrong. There were eight neurologists saw her. Seven of the eight said she was in a vegetative state. Only one said she wasn’t.
SCARBOROUGH: I am quoting an Associated Press report from yesterday.
CRANFORD: Joe, you’ve got to get your facts straight.
SCARBOROUGH: I have got my facts straight.
CRANFORD: Get your facts straight. You’ve got your facts way off.
I’m sorry, but what the hell is this? A television reporter is telling a neurologist that he sounds like he thinks he knows what he’s talking about. A TV reporter is accusing a physician of not having his facts straight, when the facts in question are trivially easy to determine. A shouting head, one of the most irritating creatures we’ve managed to create in recent years, and someone who has managed to make a career out of impugning everyone who disagrees with him, is wondering how another person can “be so absolutely sure that … everybody on the other side is a charlatan.” And, you know, the one doctor who agrees with Joe is right, and the other seven guys who agree with Cranford — the one dude, he’s the genius; the other seven guys, they’re all wet. Right? Right.
You have got to be kidding me. This is what passes for journalism? No wonder this case is all screwed up from a perception standpoint — we treat it as though each position were an equally valid position, and that it’s just a matter of opinion. I fully expect the next time Buzz Aldrin gets interviewed on TV, he’s going to have to sit next to some jackass who thinks the moon landing was faked:
HACK: So, Dr. Aldrin, it sounds like you think you’re something of an expert on the moon.
ALDRIN: I am an expert on the moon. I’ve been there. I know the other people who went there. You can see my boot print in the lunar dust.
HACK: But how do you explain Bill Kaysing’s claim that you can’t see the stars in the photographs you allegedly took while there? I can see the stars at night on the earth when it’s dark in the sky; it’s dark in the sky on the moon, so why can’t we see the stars?
ALDRIN: Well, Hack, we were on the moon in early lunar morning —
HACK: Wait a minute, but the moon doesn’t have a time of day, because it never changes its face relative to the earth. So it doesn’t turn. It’s suppose —
ALDRIN: Get your facts straight. The moon rotates.
HACK: I don’t think so. I never see the far side of the moon. No one has. Everyone knows that.
ALDRIN: [agitated] No, the moon rotates. Like I said, we were out there in full sunlight, and the cameras aren’t sensitive enough — you can’t take a picture of a dim object in full sunlight when you’re also trying to capture objects lit by the —
HACK: Hold on a second. Hold on a second. You’re so sure of this — how is it that you’re so sure of this, when other people — smart people, reasonable people — can talk about this rationally, without getting angry, without punching other people in the nose — how do you respond to these reasonable and measured people who claim that you never went there, and that you and your colleagues were engaged in a massive conspiracy to defraud the United States of billions of dollars and perpetrate a hoax?
ALDRIN: I was there. You weren’t.
HACK: Well, that’s certainly your opinion, Dr. Aldrin, and you’re entitled to it. It is just an opinion, after all. Thank you for your time. Coming up next, why conservatives are persecuted for their beliefs: We talk to oppressed minority Bill O’Reilly about the hardships of being white, rich, and male in American society. And now, a word from Pfizer.
I used to joke that journalism barely rated above lawyering in terms of the popular impression of the profession. I’m starting to think that journalism barely rates above venture capitalism.
(See also: perpetual rant that “opinion” now seems to mean “a baseless statement that should not be criticized on the grounds that it is baseless.”)