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“… like Thomas Paine and other deep thinkers from before the revolutionary war…”

“… like Thomas Paine and other deep thinkers from before the revolutionary war…”

I was pleased to meet a long time reader at my Tea Party presentation at the Cornell Club on Monday night, and even more pleased to get this e-mail afterwards:

Professor Jacobson,

It was a pleasure to meet you last night and hear your presentation. In my haste to meet you … I forgot to offer one suggestion for your future pre-presentation audience surveys. It might be interesting for you to get a sense from the audience about where they get their news (NY Times, CNN, Newsweek, Blogs?). It would be a very telling bit of data on where people were coming from in making their debate points.

Granted I am making some assumptions here but my experience has often proved such assumptions to be accurate. The very first gentleman to address you, instead of asking a question of you, decided to get up and speak for 15 minutes thereby prompting a heated rebuttal discussion in the audience. He struck me as an individual that likely relied exclusively on the New York Times for his sole “quality-sourced” daily news overview (maybe had never even seen a blog posting) and utterly clueless about the current political landscape and why we are where we are.

He came to your presentation to educate the rest of us rather than to educate himself. His points sounded quaint, dated and tired. Several others in the audience sounded like the ghost of NY Times Editor Bill Keller as they inadvertently echoed liberal talking points and memes. Like a properly sourced blog post, I would have loved to know before (or after) exactly what news source foundation of knowledge individual people in the audience possessed.

In the past 10 years I have come to firmly believe that if a person doesn’t “work hard” to get their news, preferring instead MSM spoon-feeding, then that person is destined to miss almost everything in current events that they need to know to be a responsible US citizen and voter. Very much like students whose teachers don’t educate them but pass them onto the next grade anyway.

Both MSM educated city dwellers and poorly taught students grown to adults arrive in a debate of ideas weakly armed and much less smart about the issues than they think they are. Your excellent tea party myth rebuttals (Amazingly a small fraction of the examples you could have used) early in the presentation were very important in this regard and were surely news scoops to your average NY Times reader and attendee who likely thinks that Maureen Dowd is a slight center-left moderate.

I had mentioned to several people on my end of the table that you and your co-bloggers at Legal Insurrection and other blogs are like Thomas Paine and other deep thinkers from before the revolutionary war.

You carry on with your conservative thought pieces, leftist rebuttals and incivility hypocrisy call-outs amidst the random hate mail that you and all conservatives in the public eye receive. In so doing you prove on a daily basis that the pen is mightier than the sword and that individuals with liberty are ultimately more powerful than groups of thugs.

Keep up the great work and I hope to see round 2 at the Cornell Club in the near future.

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Comments

I second that suggestion!

“The very first gentleman to address you, instead of asking a question of you, decided to get up and speak for 15 minutes…”

I get really tired of leftist trolls who, pretending to have a question, waste our time with their talking points. We’re there to learn from the speaker, not listen to the same tired old dogma from trolls too wrapped up in their own ideological obsessions to realize or care just how disrespectfully they are treating us.

Some moderators are quick to interrupt such trolls, demanding that they either ask a question or sit down. This is a very good practice.

Professor;

Any chance there’s a video or a transcript of your presentation for us to see? I’ve been fighting to debunk some of the many Tea Party myths out there in several venues, and could use some more ammo, besides the fact that I’m sure many of us would just like to hear you speak and don’t live near enough to come see you when you do…

    William A. Jacobson in reply to leeatmg. | September 21, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I brought a digital recorder, but forgot to turn it on. There was a reporter there from the Cornell Chronicle, and she promised to send me her recording. If I get it and if it is audible, I’ll post it.

The very first gentleman to address you, instead of asking a question of you, decided to get up and speak for 15 minutes thereby prompting a heated rebuttal discussion in the audience.

How rude! If people wanted to hear this guy lecture they would have attended HIS lecture. Of course, nobody would invite him to give a lecture…

Amen to that, Keep up the great work Professor!

Way to go Professor – what a great testimonial from an obviously big fan, sorry I couldn’t make it but I was working til midnight!!

Where people get their news is an astute observation by the person who sent the email. People ask me where I get my news and I have to think about it for a minute because I know I don’t get any of it from the same sources most people rely on. I never watch any news on television and that’s probably where most people go for news. Funny thing, the ones I know never seem to be more informed than I, but I often know about things they never heard of.

I mentioned the ethanol subsidy to a friend who watches CNN for his news. He said, “what is ethanol?” He wasn’t joking.

First, well played, professor. It is always welcome to invite appreciation in the course of maintaining civility.

Second, as always, multiple independent sources. Anything else will be marginally reliable.

Don’t stop teaching. Don’t stop learning. The world is not nearly as mundane as a selective reality would lead us to believe.

This indeed must have been an excellent presentation! I assume all the attendees were Cornell alumni? That and being in Manhattan indicate that the leftist slant of the audience was rather large. And yet, this obviously well-informed fan of your blog was there, gaining both knowledge and much-needed reassurance.

That someone in the audience was ready to rebut the blow-hard is fantastic! It reassures that there are people who are paying attention, and was not willing to let the left take a foothold and throw lies without counter.

Unfortunately, the q & a period sounds typical – what was the overall audience response to the “echo[ed] liberal talking points and memes” being tossed out? Did you get the “feel” in the room that you were reaching people, or were they more hostile? Personally, I would love to hear a fellow audience member who repudiated that leftist drone! Sounds fascinating!

Thank you for being the voice of reason, of liberty, of truth. (BTW – a video would be nice……..if one was made.) 😉

“The very first gentleman to address you, instead of asking a question of you, decided to get up and speak for 15 minutes…”

Don’t kid yourself. These clowns don’t come to be informed. Or even discuss. They come to disrupt. This tactic is just another form of speech shut down by libs. They have found they can’t shut up conservatives with violence and intimidation, so they use this tactic. If this doesn’t work, they will try something else but they will never give up trying to shut us up. We will very likely see more and more of this in the future. Say goodbye to civil discourse or even respect for individual thoughts. They are a thing of the past.

I don’t watch news on TV. I get on blogs like this that I can trust to give me accurate info. I have found that I know more about what’s going on than a friend of mine who reads multiple newspapers. Keep up the good fight, Professor. Next time, I’d have a time limit. No one should speak that long unless it’s you.

I don’t watch TV, and haven’t read a newspaper in years. My main sources are blogs — and as Rosalie said, I feel like I’m much better informed for it.

Your correspondent is prescient. Most working age Americans simply do not have the luxury of balancing their news sources; and college or younger kids don’t bother. Some observers have asserted, or speculated, that most Americans now get their news and opinions from the late night comics. Chilling is the thought may be, I really don’t doubt it. In fact I see evidence in my own family.

I appreciate as a luxury of retirement the time to search for balanced news and opinion sources, and to ignore the MSM package. I also feel it is a duty to glean the wheat and pass it along to those less fortunate through the magic of email. Unfortunately, I have the sense that those who would benefit the most from my efforts are quick with the magical delete button.

BarbaraS “Don’t kid yourself. These clowns don’t come to be informed. Or even discuss. They come to disrupt.”

You’ve got that right! Even at literary conferences, when the topic of a panel discussion has nothing to do with politics, these liberal creeps will inject their politics. It’s time to start treating them like the pariahs they are.

He’s not the first to liken you to Thomas Paine. That’s what I thought when I discovered your blog…two years ago.

Here’s a question. If I wanted to have my teenaged son read two blogs from each side, what thoughtful left of center bloggers would you recommend? I know he can read any mainstream newspaper and hear the left point of view, but to provide equal grounds by identifying both sides as opinion makers, not journalists, might provide him a better prospective.
Thanks.

    A better question for you is if your son is watching the Colbert Report, or Jon Stewart, or MTV or any other programing amongst the slew of entertainment television (and for that matter, entertainment radio, podcasts, games, and social networking), where do you send him to get another perspective?

Professor, while I don’t disagree with your readers sentiment, I think this this misrepresents what is required:

In the past 10 years I have come to firmly believe that if a person doesn’t “work hard” to get their news, preferring instead MSM spoon-feeding

Eight years ago I turned off televised news. I had long eschewed network news because they were clearly agenda driven, but I had been an addict to the cables. It wasn’t till I started watching others tendencies when controlling the remote that I realized that so many self-professed news junkies were not seeking insight. No, what they were seeking was affirmation to their political prejudices. Those that regularly tune in to Bill OReilly, or Rachel Maddow, don’t really want real news, they want a comforting narrative.

Now of course, I’ll tune into broadcast news when events break (e.g. tsunamis, wild fires and riots), but I’ve learned that the half an hour I used to spend reading the daily paper/watching televised news is better spent on my computer. It is not working hard! At my fingertips are news stories from across the globe – with just as good graphics – and hyperlinks that I regularly use to ascertain the veracity, or lack thereof, of stories of interest to me, not some faceless editor toiling for an ideological imperative.

In fact, through this process, I usually know most of what is behind the “headline” news I see and hear when I am at a friends house where the “evening” news is part of their daily fare.

It is not hard; it just takes a minor alteration to ones daily schedule. (as a side bonus, I’ve found that when I am in a conversation, others are floored that I’ve already read that NYTimes, or WaPost article that has them so animated, and are already prepared to debunk the falsehoods they impart.)

It is not hard. Turn off your television (news).

We don’t have cable, or TV at all really, so unless he is watching online he is not getting either Jon Stewart or the Colbert report. We listen to NPR in the car and I spend a lot of time filling in the blanks, but it would be beneficial to read thoughtful analysis from the other side of the political spectrum.

I happen to agree with you about finding news online. I am shocked at how clueless people are who just read headlines and watch cable news.

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