The narrative of the Democrat-Media Complex is sometimes overt, like with the Trayvon Martin case, in which NBC edited the original 9-1-1 tapes to make George Zimmerman sound racist, and media outlets invented the new term “White Hispanic” to fit the preferred storyline. Other times the bias is more subtle, like this recent offering from the LA Times:
Think Congress is sophomoric? A study says you’re right
…If it sounds like the debates in Congress have devolved into those of teenagers, it’s because they have.
Discourse in the House and Senate has dropped a full grade level — to the equivalent of high school sophomore, according to a new study.
Call this the dumbing down of Congress in a partisan age…
Partisanship seems an odd culprit. The Revolutionary War coincided with the Declaration of Independence. The Gettysburg Address, delivered in the heart of the Civil War, is legendary for its prose. Neither were times of comity. Hmmm, what else could it be?
…Or a shift to plain-spoken populism ignited by the new class of tea party Republicans.
There it is! The Democrat-Media Complex strikes again. No matter that polls have shown Tea Partiers to be more educated than the general public, the perception of the Tea Party as full of racist ignoramuses is too comforting for the liberal media to give up. Later on:
And political moderates among both Republicans and Democrats tended to carry on at a higher grade level than those more partisan liberals or conservatives.
With that framework in mind, it should come as no surprise that the lawmakers at the bottom of the list, speaking at the lowest grade level, are among the most ardent tea party Republicans in the freshman class. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Rep. Robert Woodall of Georgia and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky were the bottom three — speaking at about an eighth-grade level, the study found.
Disagreeing with Rand Paul is fair, but implying that he has dumbed-down the conversation in Congress is absurd. His libertarian-driven calls for fiscal restraint and smaller government are intellectually serious positions delivered in clear terms. As for the supposed verbal sophistication of moderates, I’m sure their verbose dissertations on the sociological consequences of genocidal tendencies among despotic governments make for great table talk over coffee at meetings of Obama’s Atrocities Prevention Board.
Apart from some comical examples of supposedly high level speech (cliché quoting of Victor Hugo apparently wins points with the study), the article doesn’t get interesting again until the end, with this aside:
The best and worst speeches may be in the ear of the listener, and the study noted that President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address was judged by other researchers to rank at the eighth-grade level for the third year in a row.
At this point, you realize that the article was written backwards. “Congress follows Obama’s lead by dumbing down speech” might be a more apt storyline. Blinded by their own repetition of mantras about Obama being the most intelligent president or greatest orator ever, the media conveniently overlook that Obama got elected by listing things he didn’t like followed by responding (in a conversation with himself) “That’s not change!” Likewise, “hope” is a nice thing but also a 2nd grade vocabulary word. And “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” fails in syntax almost as badly as it does in logic. Finally, after watching a guy claim his nomination would lower sea levels, possibly the most ridiculous thing said by any presidential candidate in history, and still get elected… it’s a wonder that Congress isn’t completely speechless.