Quote of the week

Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.

Timothy Snyder
The New York Times
6 September 2010

[ANC spokesperson Jackson] Mthembu is upset that the Mail & Guardian has not accepted the official version of events: that the president enjoys full and unequivocal support, that his travel was part of a wider NEC mandate for senior leadership to prepare for the National General Council and that the president’s strike intervention was a logical follow-up to ANC calls for a resolution. What is interesting about his criticism is that he seems upset that the M&G has not simply taken at face value the ANC’s official explanations for these things, but added their own interpretation, analysis and reporting. Is this conscious naiveté, is it just bluster, or does he seriously think that political journalism is about reproducing ANC statements? What is one to make of this sweeping statement: “The ANC NEC, including President Zuma, enjoys the full confidence of the entire members, its branches, its regions and its provinces”? This is a claim so ludicrous, so patently ridiculous, that it stretches Mthembu’s credibility way beyond its limits. Does he expect the media just to repeat that? – Anton Harber

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