Not Always a Nation of Dunces

Here’s a nice coun­ter­point to our post last week cov­er­ing Susan Jacoby’s new book The Age of Amer­i­can Unrea­son and her lament that Amer­i­ca has declined into a morass of anti-intel­lec­tu­al­ism and low expec­ta­tions.

Let’s set the scene: A reporter selects a young Barack Oba­ma sup­port­er at a ral­ly and starts pep­per­ing him with ques­tions about the can­di­date. And it all feels like a staged effort to demon­strate that the mobi­lized youth has no real han­dle on the issues. He’s just blind­ly buy­ing the hype. With­out wast­ing time, the reporter leads the young man into a con­ver­sa­tion on the com­plex­i­ties of health care. It’s the per­fect set­up. But then it sud­den­ly becomes clear that the reporter chose the wrong kid (who is a nat­u­ral­ized immi­grant, by the way) to play the fool. Watch the video below (and check out this fol­low up video that gives you more of the back sto­ry).

via Think on These Things

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Comments (7)
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  • Will says:

    The guy’s name is Der­rick Ashong. He gives speech­es about pol­i­tics; also was in Spiel­berg’s “Amis­tad”.

    wrong kid indeed!

  • ben j says:

    Inter­view­er is a gigan­tic tool. He might as well begin each ques­tion with “Hey stu­pid…”

    I could­n’t watch the whole thing (dude was mak­ing me sick), but even halfway through, once it became clear that his sub­ject had some­thing to con­tribute on the top­ic, he’s STILL try­ing to catch him out.

  • cyenobite says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for post­ing this! I hope you don’t mind but I had to post this over on my blog as well. In addi­tion, I found a few more of Der­rick­’s posts on youtube… I encour­age oth­ers to check them out as well…‑JirI45yGs

  • Rk says:

    What an abra­sive inter­view­er.

  • nino says:

    The take­away from that video was not health care-relat­ed but rather that Oba­ma as pres­i­dent would unite Con­gress. Which means it was a pro­mo­tion­al spot in the guise of an inter­view.

    The fake high five at the end was clas­sic.

  • Anonymous says:

    i am con­fused, why, if the inter­view­er was try­ing to catch him out, and was being made to look bad, did he post the video. It seemed to me in watch­ing it, that this whole thing was staged. The inter­view­er was not catch­ing him out real­ly, but set­ting up ques­tions. and giv­en the sub­ject is a reg­u­lar youtube cor­re­spon­dent, seems a great coin­ci­dence that he is the one ran­dom­ly inter­viewed.

  • Anonymous says:

    and he is also an actor, staged seems right

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