Now, it is made PAINFULLY obvious by this video a few things:
- The interviewer didn't do much research into the book
- the interviewer dind't do much research into the man
- Reza Aslan is a biblical scholar who holds 4 degrees (Wikipedia has these listed: A BA from Santa Clara University, A Master in Theologial Studies from the Harvard Divinity School, An MFA from the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop and a PhD from UC Santa Barbara)
- ALL the newscaster cared about was the fact that the is Muslim.
The research, and his schooling didn't matter. She seemed not even prepared to entertain the fact that he's done research. It gets so bad that he starts to actually talk down to her.
Because somewhere along the way America stopped valuing intelligence.
I started seeing it at the beginning of my teaching career, when the boys in the schools I was substituting in declared that being literate was akin to being disastrously uncool. Yes, I said literate. These boys declared that being able to read wouldn't help them to play professional sports, or get on a reality TV show.
Gone are the days when people could have intelligent debate. Society seem to have gotten to a point where the person that says the most damning thing seems to win the argument. Soundbites are more important than solid research and scholarship.
Now, don't get me wrong. We have intelligent people in the world! There are even intelligent celebrities! (Natalie Portman, Mayim Bialik, and Danica McKellar come immediately to mind.) And apparently there are many geeky, nerdy people in Hollywood. Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4 (seen to the right)
So there is hope. Intelligence isn't lost. But it does seem to be completely unimportant to many social groups.
Well, if you need me, I'm going to watch the extended Daily Show interview. And maybe do some research.