Smarts and Intelligence

I juxtapose interviews with Donald Trump and a schoolchild.

CK boy

Rock star mascarading as Roy Fox


The interview of Trump is transcribed in a Shareblue article from yesterday, December 11, 2016, by Alison R. Parker called Trump says he does not need intelligence briefings because he is a smart person. The interviewer is Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. (I have never watched this program. I have acquired no facility to watch television in five years.) The interview with a child is from Stay Free! magazine in 1997.

First, Wallace and Trump, emphasis mine:

WALLACE: I just want to ask you about your skepticism about the intelligence community. You are getting the presidential daily brief —


WALLACE: — only once a week.

TRUMP: Well, I get it when I need it.

WALLACE: But is there some skepticism?

TRUMP: First of all, these are very good people that are giving me the briefings. If something should change from this point, immediately call me. I’m available on one minute’s notice. I don’t have to be told — you know, I’m like a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years. It could be eight years — but eight years. I don’t need that.

But I do say if something should change, let us know. Now, in the meantime, my generals are great, are being briefed. And Mike Pence is being briefed, who is, by the way, one of my very good decisions. He’s terrific. And they’re being briefed. And I’m being briefed, also.

But if they’re going to come in and tell me the exact same thing that they told me, you know, that doesn’t change necessarily. There might be times where it might change. I mean, there will be some very fluid situations. I’ll be there not every day but more than that.

But I don’t need to be told, Chris, the same thing every day, every morning, same words. ‘Sir, nothing has changed. Let’s go over it again.’ I don’t need that.

The Wikipedia article on Stay Free! links to the Web Archive; unfortunately the magazine has not maintained its own online archive. I had some issues on paper, but passed them along to somebody else when moving from Ontario to Ankara. The theme of issue #13, April, 1997, was Marketing to Kids. Such marketing seems to me as evil as raping children. There may be a defense of using all of the devious tricks of advertising to get children to buy products or get their families to buy them; there are also defenses of marrying little girls to grown men. In any case, in the Stay Free! issue, an article by Roy Fox was based on his study of children who watched Channel One in their school. The editor (Carrie McLaren, I presume) supplemented this with the text below, as she explains: Instead of doing a straight-up book review, I thought it’d be better to reprint some of these transcriptions and tie them to Fox’s findings (illustrated and paraphrased by yours truly but the info here is all taken from the book [Harvesting Minds]).

Blurring Commercials with other types of programming

Kids knew that commercials sell products and service, but when asked how programs and commercials differ, they seldom mentioned selling products; instead, they’d cite length of time (“programs are really long”). Overall, kids in the study did not regard commercials as fundamentally different from television shows.

CK boy I don't like commercials because they get old so fast. We've seen 'em since the beginning of this year, and we had them last year.
If commercials get boring and old because you've seem them too many times, how do you solve that problem? Rock star mascarading as Roy Fox
CK boy What I do in class is--if they're the same commercials, the same ol' basic stuff about Haiti or Bosnia or O.J. Simpson--I don't even watch. I just kind of block it out.

Concerning the images, the editor says: A photo of Roy Fox was unavailable for this article. He is portrayed here by the lead singer of Extra Fancy.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Anthropology of Mathematics « Polytropy on October 13, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    […] Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, which opinion polls had said he would lose, I wrote a post […]

  2. By On Causation « Polytropy on January 19, 2020 at 8:12 am

    […] I made use of Stay Free! and thus the Web Archive also in a post of December 2016 called “Smarts and Intelligence,” comparing Donald Trump to a […]

  3. By Writing Rules « Polytropy on July 25, 2020 at 2:37 pm

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