Friday, July 29, 2016

The Meredith McIver Scam -- Why it matters

"Meredith McIver" is allegedly a public speaker who apparently is too timid to speak to the public.  Whether she existed or not was briefly the subject of speculation a week ago when a letter was produced by the Trump campaign in which she took the blame for plagiarism in Melania Trump's convention speech.

Once it was established that there actually, apparently is (or was) a Meredith McIver, the whole plagiarism flap -- with its denials and fabrications -- was sent to the memory hole for shredding and incineration.

"It was all a joke." or some minion in the bowels of The Trump Organization "took responsibility" [without, of course, having to, you know, take any responsibility]

One of the mainstays of the Trump campaign -- and of the right-wing propaganda wurlitzer in general -- is the devaluation of truth. This is not simply a matter of saying things that aren't true for political advantage. It is an enduring strategy of demonstrating the futility of standards of truth, rightness and truthfulness because they realize that communicative rationality is not their friend.

It is not enough for them to "get away" with a falsehood. The point is to show that the truth does not matter. This is not mere dishonesty. It is an assault on the idea that there is any criteria for distinguishing between truth and falsehood.

1 comment:

RW (the other) said...

It seems of a piece with Ron Suskind's interview of a Bush POTUS official (reputedly Karl Rove):
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

It's logical conclusion is probably a water empire ruled by Doublethink and Newspeak but IMHO it's mainly what comes of a sociocultural system that not only permits bullshit (cf. Harry Frankfurt) at the highest corporate and policy levels but rewards it with success again and again. This is a spreading rot, a moral collapse primarily in the strata of elites.

And now we have a fully developed bullshit artist in Trump who has decided to expand his business from vulgar branding and investor bamboozlement to ethnic cleansing. With nearly half the voting public apparently committed to the purchase I suppose it is little wonder that peccadillos such as serial falsehood fail to disturb their mood.