2.11.15

BEING STUPID ABOUT BEING SMART.

On Friday, Megyn Kelly's guests Meghan McCain and Eboni Williams had justifiable fun with CNBC's pathetic performance hosting last Wednesday's Republican debate.  They may have gone a snark too far taking on a followup CNBC article with a misleading headline, "College-level speaking not required at the GOP debates."  The article might have been better-received had the writers noted the generally simple structure of political discourse up-front.  But no, better to get in your digs at the Republican candidates and the Republican base and then note that plain language is de rigueur. "Complicated speech doesn't necessarily help anybody in the polls. There is no value in being over people's heads, especially if you are trying to win their emotions." Yes, and the article even notes that President Obama's language is pretty plain,  The highest-grade-level presidential statement the authors could find was President Nixon's re-election statement in 1972, using college level language, but given the obfuscations that were to come, perhaps that was a portent.  But Ms Kelly did get off trenchant advice to the political class. "It is not to your benefit to try to be so sanctimonious and smug in your intelligence and your degrees. It is better if you can speak in a way that everyone understands and doesn't have to work hard to figure out."  Yes, but perhaps the wordnoise is a portent ...

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