Americans of a certain age will almost all remember Gilda Radner’s Emily Litella character from NBC’s Saturday Night Live. She was the little old lady who regularly appeared on the Weekend Update mock news program to give her opinion on the pressing events of the day.
Week after week she would launch into involved explanations of a current social happenings based on a completely flawed understanding of the issue—usually resulting from a mishearing of one of its key terms—only to be stopped by the “host” of the program, Chevy Chase, half way through her rant.
When Chase would point out the reality of the subject she was supposed to be addressing, she would meekly reply “Never mind” and end the segment. What she never, ever did, however, was to apologize for absurd things she had just spent the last few minutes saying.
What was played to audiences as a biting satirical joke about the ignorant presumptuous of certain old people in the 1970s, is now standard operating procedure in the US corporate press, and its ever-increasing corps of slavish imitators in Europe.
When a crisis comes up somewhere in the world, we are treated to instant analyses on the matter from “experts”, generally media colleagues of the person reading the news, whose knowledge of the subject amounts mostly to repetitions of the memes generated by the people in the center-right, so-called quality press (all so-called quality presses are today in Europe and Latin America are now…