Saturday 20 August 2022

Sam Harris jumps the shark, says the quiet part out loud

I’ve been a fan of Sam Harris — one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals— for many years, and have most of his books. He was one of the few brave enough to talk frankly about the violence inherent in Islamic doctrine. 

I gave up paying for his content when he went kind of crazy over the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court Senate confirmation hearings.* And then Sam showed himself not living up to his brand -- which is “the truth” and “logic and rationality” -- over the Trump election in 2016 and now talking of the suppression of factual evidence in the 2020 election. 

Click above to see Sam in full flight over the suppression of the Hunter Biden Laptop story, which, to remind, was broken by the New York Post but cancelled” by Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the print and TV mainstream media. Watch and marvel. 

He says the quiet part out loud in the podcast above, which I’ve set to start where he goes truly weird. To suggest that dead children in the basement aren’t worse that Trump’s corruption? That the failure of Trump University is worse that Joe Biden taking bribes from China and Ukraine? That’s high level delusion right there, says my own priors on this. But surely one doesn’t have to be a Trump supporter to find that troubling. And to think that he’s just saying the quiet part out loud -- that the Democrats will or would stop at nothing -- not even killing children and stuffing them in the basement -- to stop Orange Man Bad?

Here is Sam:  “People say suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story was a left-wing conspiracy. Absolutely it was. But I think it was warranted”. Amazing. And “there was nothing that Biden might have done, even if he took bribes from Ukraine and China, which matched the corruption we know Trump did”. To which one’s reaction is …“huh”? 

We won’t find this reported in any of the mainstream media, in CNN, or MSNBC, or ABC, or the New York Times, or Washington Post, because they don’t want to admit to it. With words from one of America’s prime public intellectuals. Admitting to suppression of facts. And thinking it’s “warranted”. 

So you have to go elsewhere to get a take on this. And the best I’ve found is Ben Shapiro here, a friend and admirer of Harris, and Scott Adams here. (Shapiro is a self-described conservative; Adams says he’s “left of Bernie”).

The Triggernometry guys, by the way, are two London lads who would describe themselves as “of the left”, but have now become part of those folks who are finding the Left, especially the loopy far-left parts of it, somewhat crazy and baffling. Konstantin Kisin was cancelled years ago -- when he refused to sign a contract that said he couldn’t say anything in his act that might give offence -- so, gave up doing stand up and joined with Francis Foster to set up Triggernometry, which I’ve been following for years, and I’m pleased to see is doing very well and is a positive contribution to the cultural battles now going on around the western world, especially the English-speaking part of it. 

*ADDED: There were charges of sexual molestation — back in the early 80s— made against Kavanaugh, first by Christine Blasey Ford. We’d watched her senate testimony live. I bought it. Jing did not. Turns out Jing was right (isn’t she always?). Blasey Ford’s charges against Kavanaugh fell apart when neither friends nor family, nor even her therapist, would confirm them. Hell, they wouldn’t even talk about them! 

Three other women came forward with various wild and loopy charges, all of which were either recanted or debunked. One of them was represented by Michael Avenatti — he, beloved of Democrats who talked of him as a potential presidential candidate —  a lawyer now in jail for fraud. So net sum, every single charge against Kavanaugh was either recanted or proven false. And in the 40+ years since, there has been not a single charge against Kavanaugh. To the claim that no jury could have found Kavanaugh guilty on that basis, Sam simply said “it’s not a court of law” and you “could tell” just by looking at Kavanaugh that he was “innately evil”. Really, Sam?! Harris probably knew no more about Kavanaugh from his perch in America than we did from our lounge room here in Hong Kong. We watched it all live, as he did. And to us it didn’t look good for the Sam Harris brand of “the facts, ma’am, just the facts”. Feelings, rather. Bitter and twisted feelings…

ADDED (29 August): the clip of Sam on Triggernometry went hugely viral, still causing some waves in the US.