I read this week’s installment of Silverstein’s “The Heretic” with my emotions swinging from incredulous to vexation. Mr. Silverstein begins his article by extolling the virtues of a congresswoman who accused the Bush administration of having prescient knowledge of the Sept. 11 tragedy and doing nothing to stop it. It is beyond me why Silverstein would praise a ridiculous unsubstantiated accusation of that magnitude and then continue his polemic, in complete oblivion, failing to provide any evidence militating the congresswoman’s statement, but rather proffering the obtuse insight that because no one is reporting on this story then it must have merit.
It seems by Silversteinian logic that since these conspiracy-type stories are also not being covered by the “mainstream corporate controlled media” they must inherently be true. These types of arguments ad ignorantiam are generally to be avoided by thinking people. By this ridiculous logic it seems the Bush administration’s unforgivable crime would only be superceded by recent undocumented reports of alien abductions and sightings of Bigfoot, as these phenomena are completely unsupported as well.
Putatively, NPR and OPB, as well as more “centered” news sources, are so biased by corporate control that they wouldn’t dare report on a story of this magnitude despite the obvious attention it would bring to their product. The media’s silence surely goes to prove this fact as Mr. Silverstein doesn’t even bother to offer any evidence of the story’s validity other then what he perceives as conspicuous silence by the evil corporations’ complacent media lackeys.
Obviously being a brainwashed would-be corporate lackey myself, and quite naive and ignorant to boot, I was unaware it was the news media’s responsibility to assiduously pursue every crackpot accusation that is accompanied by complete lack of evidence. I am also unused to singing the praises of politicians who talk out of their asses just because I share a mutual hatred for the target of their unfounded attacks. It is always amusing to me that those marginalized on the far left, and the far right, would rather believe in confuted conspiracy theories than deal with the unexciting and/or depressive truth. Sometimes “reality” is neither as fun nor exciting as the world of make-believe that extremists choose to live in.
However, why the Vanguard felt the need to publish Silverstein’s ill conceived, if innocuous, foray into illogic is beyond this reader’s comprehension. I believe the space this article took up could more usefully be dedicated to the ongoing conspiracy not to repair glory holes in the bathrooms at the PSU library, or alternately, exposing that obstreperous preacher on campus as the alien he surely is. Both these stories are at least partially based on fact. With more articles like this one coming from the braintrust that is Mr. Silverstein, your paper can serve its best effect as fodder for my fireplace during the remaining intemperate months or as something to wipe my ass with in a pinch.