Brian Williams: Trusted by 75% of listeners, myself included, not that I ever really thought about it. And then, come to find out, the helicopter carrying him in Iraq did not come under fire as he stated. Indeed it was the helicopter in front of his. And his excellent reporting on Hurricane Katrina? Well, several of his stories from that disaster have been discredited as well. It disappoints me that someone so trusted could do this. Yes, I even feel disillusioned.
Shouldn’t I have been prepared by other stories, later proved false, told by famous people like Hillary Clinton in her report of coming under fire in Bosnia and George W. Bush who said he watched on TV as the first plane flew into the World Trade Center?
But what truly disgusts me is that psychologists provide an “explanation” for these falsehoods in their theory that false memories, especially for highly emotional moments are quite common. Psychologists go into a lengthy “scientific” description of episodic memory using jargon such as neuroimaging and lab experiments to explain that the memory reconstructs an event from bits and pieces of information which are changed just by the reconstruction.
I’m not buying it!
Long ago I saw a poster I’ve never forgotten. It was one of the first indications that teachers were to promote self-esteem over actual leaning. The poster said, ” There is no such thing as a wrong answer, but if there were, that would be one.” So to paraphrase that sign: “There is no such thing as a lie, but if there were, that would be one.”
© Dorothy C. Judd
Next post: Monday, February 16th