CLAIMS KNOWLEDGE OF HISTORY IS IMPORTANT, WHILE RIDICULING PUBLIC CONCERNS OVER OBAMA’S ELIGIBILITY
by John Charlton
(Nov. 2, 2009) — On a thread denigrating the voters of Arkansas as stupid, renowned eligibility lawyer, Mario Apuzzo, esq., attempted to defend the concern of state citizens that Obama, born a british subject, has not proven he is eligible to be president of the United States until he shows the documents that prove his birth status.
In retaliation, he was banned from posting on the site.
His opponent in the short debate, Ed Hale, Jr., — no relation with Ed Hale of Plains Radio.com — quoted a pro-Obama debunking site as his authority on the eligibility case.
The History News Network identifies itself as being published from Washington State:
History News Network
119 South Main Street Suite 220
Seattle, WA 98104
Its editor, Rick Shenkman is described thus in his biography at the site:
Rick Shenkman is the editor and founder of George Mason University’s History News Network, a website that features articles by historians on current events. An associate professor of history at George Mason University, he can regularly be seen on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. He is a New York Times best-selling author of six history books, including Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History and Presidential Ambition: How the Presidents Gained Power, Kept Power and Got Things Done (HarperCollins, 1999). His latest book is Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter (Basic Books, June 2008). Click here to read his blog, How Stupid?
Educated at Vassar and Harvard, Mr. Shenkman is an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter and the former managing editor of KIRO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Seattle. In 1997 he was the host, writer and producer of a prime time series for The Learning Channel inspired by his books on myths. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Historians. He gives lectures at colleges around the country on several topics, including American myths and presidential politics.
Evidently, the editor does not take his own book’s title as a challenge to his own policies for commentors at his site. However, he does gives the public 5 criteria on how to determine how stupid another person is:
First, is sheer ignorance: Ignorance of critical facts about important events in the news, and ignorance of how our government functions and who’s in charge.
Second, is negligence: The disinclination to seek reliable sources of information about important news events.
Third, is wooden-headedness, as the historian Barbara Tuchman defined it: The inclination to believe what we want to believe regardless of the facts.
Fourth, is shortsightedness: The support of public policies that are mutually exclusive, or contrary to the country’s long-term interests.
Fifth, and finally, is a broad category I call bone-headedness, for want of a better name: The susceptibility to meaningless phrases, stereotypes, irrational biases, and simplistic diagnoses and solutions that play on our hopes and fears.
Let’s apply Professor Shenkman’s 5 criteria to his site’s policy of banning discussion of the natural born citizenship requirement of the U.S. Constitution, by Attorney Mario Apuzzo, esq..
First, it is sheer ignorance to not be aware of this critical fact which is part-and-parcel of important current events, and is essential to understanding how our government functions.
Second, it is negligent to be disinclined to seek reliable sources of information about such crucial facts (e.g. Vattel and supreme court cases, writings of the founders).
Third, it is obviously wooden-headedness to ban an Attorney from a site on History who simply wants to quote historical sources.
Fourth, it is short sightedness to want to support Obama’s policy of claiming to be eligible while refusing to disclose documents and insisting that he is eligible when the historically accepted qualifications disqualify him.
Fifth, it is bone-headedness, to call Apuzzo a “birther” because this is a meaningless, stereotypical, irrational slur based on bias and an overly simplistic diagnostic of another’s motives, based on one’s own political hopes and fears.
The Post & Email, therefore, accepts Professor Shenkman’s 5 criteria and officially dubs his site’s policy of banning those wanting to discuss the natural born citizenship requirement (like Attorney Mario Apuzzo did) as “STUPID” !
Evidently Professor Shenkman’s 5 criteria only apply to those who don’t support the Obama regime. That makes his site a site on the political reinterpretation of history, not on history per se.
Professor Rick Shenkman can be contacted through his email at his blog “Just How Stupid are We?”