Wednesday, November 7

A note on the psycho-epistemology of understanding complex news events

The [NATO] policy in Afghanistan is confusing to me, and if it’s confusing to me, who does this every day, it’s got to be confusing to someone whose primary responsibility is to raise their family and go to work.”

-- Representative Mike Rogers (MI-R), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; remark made some months back.

I notice the U.S. public isn't so confused it can't understand the intricacies of NBA bracketing and football scandals

It's the method of presentation, not the subject matter, that makes it hard for the public to understand NATO policy and U.S. foreign/defense policy general. That's why I suggested after 9/11/01 that major U.S. TV news outlets use sportscasters to deliver news on foreign affairs and take a scorecard approach to keeping the American public abreast of key developments in foreign affairs.

A couple people in the news media I talked with about the idea liked it. But the problem with the  approach is that it makes confusing things clear.  Washington's FP establishment would collapse if the American public clearly understood foreign affairs.


Dymphna said...

well...if we're going to have sportscasters giving us the play-by-play on foreign affairs, how's about we call it something other than "psycho-epistemolgy"?

Maybe "after action reports"? Nah. Too military.

They say to write about what you know, so these guys can just chalk-it on a blackboard with little x's and o's and...easy peasy: lessons learned.

THEN we follow Shakespeare's suggestion and kill all the lawyers, including the legislative ones. Somehow methinks having a law degree ought to bar one from holding public office. But that's just me.

Pundita said...

It so happens I was busy making a gift for you when your comment arrived. Will reply later but now must finish the gift.