It’s one of the most infamous misquotes of all time: Aristotle’s supposed assertion that, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
One blogger notes that the misquote appears to have first surfaced in Lowell Bennion’s 1959 book “Religion and the Pursuit of Truth” and that he “can only assume it is a rather radical paraphrase of the actual sentence that appears in Aristotle’s ‘Nicomachean Ethics.’”
Nevertheless, the thought itself — even if it is a “radical paraphrase” and doesn’t capture Aristotle’s real meaning — is not a bad one. It’s certainly a heck of a better sentiment than this anonymous quote about what happened to Vice President Kamala Harris when she was exposed to media where she wasn’t portrayed in a favorable light: “It got in her head and caused high anxiety.”
That quote comes from an Axios article published Friday, titled “Inside Biden’s obsession with ‘Morning Joe.’” Apparently, the president just can’t get enough of the MSNBC weekday morning show that generally praises his administration and the Democrats so effusively Biden literally couldn’t do a better job if he were doing it himself.
And I don’t mean that as in “figuratively, but in bolded italics” literally, but literally literally — considering this is what happens when America’s leader tries to sing his own praises:
JUST IN: President Biden sounds like he is speaking a different language while giving a speech at the Earth Rider Brewery in Superior, Wisconsin.
Don’t worry… The media has assured us that he is sharper than ever!
“The beer brewed here. It is used to make the brewed beer.… pic.twitter.com/UeJ3zf2ZXX
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) January 25, 2024
What he said. Four more years! Four more years! Four more beers!
For a media that so often fretted about the media diet of former President Donald Trump, the Axios report should raise more alarms about what the current occupant of the White House and his backup are watching.
“Biden’s years-long love of MSNBC’s staple morning show affects how the White House runs — and who Biden listens to,” Axios reported.
“The president often calls co-host Joe Scarborough — a former Republican congressman who’s now a harsh critic of Donald Trump — to get Scarborough’s take on issues and sometimes vent about media coverage, according to people familiar with the relationship.
“During the day, Biden has long asked his staff whether they saw a story, a poll, or a segment that had been on the show. He’s included show regulars in off-the-record conversations with policy experts.”
Because there’s nobody who I think should be setting policy like “Morning Joe” Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and their merry troupe of regular guests. Other show regulars mentioned as being in on foreign policy discussions include journalist Mike Barnicle, former Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass and anti-Trump historian Jon Meacham, who once said after a 2020 presidential debate that support for the now-former president proved “there is a lizard brain in this country,” whatever the heck that means.
In other words, the White House is now a real-life version of the 1979 movie “Being There” — only with the idiot savant character played by Peter Sellers in charge of the country as well as giving the advice:
And yet, that’s somehow not the most worrying part of the Axios report. Kamala, it was also reported, is an ardent “Morning Joe” fan, natch, and hosted a dinner for the married co-host couple last month at the vice presidential residence.
But she also goes to different parts of the cable dial — and when she ventures from the safe confines of MSNBC and its fawning coverage, she doesn’t like what she comes across.
“Aides have noted that Harris also tunes into Fox News, and occasionally watches ‘The Five,’” Axios reported. “Some aides have felt that Fox News’ relentlessly negative coverage — first casting her as Biden’s all-powerful puppeteer, then later portraying her as incompetent — can drive Harris to distraction.”
“It got in her head and caused high anxiety because they were constantly hammering her,” a former aide to Harris said.
In other words: Kamala Harris is one heartbeat away from the presidency in an administration where that heart has beat for 81 years and — if it’s as steady as the brain that regulates it — might not be the most reliable part in the bin.
Yet, when she comes across “The Five,” which is mostly a comedy show with jocular, if mostly conservative, takes on the day’s news, she apparently gets herself in such a state where a Valium might be in order.
Axios’ Alex Thompson, somewhat unbelievably, just moved the heck on from this, noting yet more love from both president and veep toward “Morning Joe.” President Biden also likes “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on CNN, too! There’s a scoop for you.
“Aides say Biden respects these voices on cable TV, and loves when they applaud his actions,” Thompson wrote. “Some White House aides have bristled at Haass’ nuanced public critiques of Biden’s foreign policy.”
Former presidential media habits are also touched upon: “Donald Trump is obsessed with Fox News, including ‘Fox and Friends’ and ‘Hannity,’” Thompson wrote. “Barack Obama was more attuned to magazines, including The New Yorker and The Atlantic.”
Wow, Barack was a reader. Quite the on-brand revelation for a president the media loves to portray as having a bearing and wit on par with Aristotle, with a bit of Cincinnatus thrown in.
But let’s back up a bit. Kamala Harris occasionally tunes in to Fox News — and their negative portrayal of her gives her “high anxiety?” What bubble does this woman live in? I’m not sure, but whatever it’s insulated with should be studied for use in military applications, because nothing seems to pierce it.
For instance: Her approval ratings are in the tank, along with those of her boss — and in an interview with even-softer-than-“Morning Joe” Katie Couric, she said the reason for it was that they weren’t taking “adequate credit” for the job they were doing:
Kamala Harris explains why she and Biden are historically unpopular: “We haven’t taken adequate credit” pic.twitter.com/Ofzi0Krsxd
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 25, 2024
Why bother? They have “Morning Joe” to give them that adequate credit — while leaving out all the nasty bits about inflation, ballooning debt, American weakness and global instability.
No, Aristotle didn’t say that it was “the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” I’m pretty sure that, if you got a hold of a time machine and brought him forward a cool 2,300 years or so, he’d probably say it was a worthwhile thought.
I’m also fairly certain he wouldn’t approve of having the second-in-line to the executive seat of a nation-state be sent into a state of “high anxiety” by a bunch of people making jokes about her on Fox News. But then, I’d conjecture that’s just the beginning of the problems the ancient Greek philosopher would have with the state of the Biden administration in 2024.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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