In most (all?) serious fields of academia it is not acceptable to directly contradict yourself. No so in the field of political pundits. Karl Rove (and others) recently did this as the following clip illustrates. My question is, why do they get away with it? Some thoughts.
- I only saw this on The Daily Show. No other media seems to have picked up on it. (Some blogs did.) Karl Rove will not be challenged on this. FOX NEWS will not call him into their office and ask him how he could say contrary things.
- Rove is only talking to fellow conservatives. Its like Cold Fusion worskhop or a Parapsychology conference or an Intelligent design journal or a Bush Rally- your audience is pre-picked.
- People think (perhaps correctly) that all pundits do it, so nobody is particularly criticized if they do it. (I've seen this reasoning used to defend negative ads.)
- If Karl Rove was challenged he might say The Daily Show ran that piece because they are part of the liberal media elite.
- Most people have not had a course in basic logic to tell them when two statements are clearly contradictory. (Though common sense should suffice.)
- There is an end justifies the means mentality. If Karl Rove helps get McCain elected, then that is all that matters.
- Is there any serious field of academia where people can make contrary statements and not be called on it?