By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Here’s an interesting question to ask yourself – do you want to know the truth?

If you ask that question about your personal life, surely the answer would be yes, you want to know the truth about your family, your friends, your health, your job security, and so on.

The alternative – living a lie and being kept in the dark – seems flat-out unacceptable, right?

But what about politics?

I’ve sat through countless political speeches and party conventions over the years where folks whoop and holler with delight as they are fed transparent falsehoods.

But it feels as if willful ignorance – defined as “the state and practice of ignoring any sensory input that appears to contradict one’s inner model of reality” – is spreading like black ice on a winter morning.

Exhibit A is the absurd reaction to a fact-check by anchorman Shepard Smith of Fox News of the so-called Hillary Clinton uranium scandal, a story being flogged these days by willful ignorance specialists like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.

The gist of it is that Clinton, when she was Secretary of State, approved the sale of a huge chunk of America’s uranium stockpile to Russia at the behest of donors to the Clinton Foundation.

As Smith put it, “the accusation is predicated on the charge that…Clinton approved the sale. She did not…and none of the uranium was exported to Russia.”

Never mind, right?


The willfully ignorant are livid at Smith and want him fired.

You can easily find comparable examples on the left-wing side of the fence.

Because the mental dysfunction of willful ignorance apparently knows no boundaries.

Comments (6)
  1. I would be interested in watching a discussion between you and Tucker Carlson, Jon. It wouldn’t be pretty. You’d be mincemeat after the first two sentences. Carlson is far better at exposing the truth about the “guests” propaganda than anyone since William F. Buckley.

    As for disseminating the truth? Before you start throwing that stone, sir, you need to but the bullet-proof shutters on your glass house. You could get hurt.

    You and the rest of your colleagues in the press have a credibility gap that is of your own making. I would suggest that you work on that first rather than to rail at others for what you perceive as sins.

  2. Politics and WWE have a lot of similarities.

  3. Tom Roy says:

    Jon Keller: so you say it doesn’t matter because 1) Hillary Clinton did not approve the deal and 2) the Uranium cannot leave the US.
    1) Clinton’s State department was one of 9 agencies who approved the deal. So to say she did not approve it is factually incorrect. Not a great start when you’re accusing others of willful ignorance. Clinton is also a pol with and enormous amount of influence. One could easily make a case that she was influence peddling of which she and her husband have made a lifetime career.
    2) Uranium is used to create nuclear weapons; Russia is a nuclear threat to the world. So because the uranium is not “supposed” to be shipped out of the US, it is OK to let a corrupt Russian company manage it. That makes no sense whatsoever.
    Lastly, you said in the column that some folks on the left do the same (willful ignorance ) thing. But, it’s the conservatives you attack with vigor that I never hear you us against liberals. I used to think you were a fair commentator, but some of your commentaries lately make you look like just another Boston liberal hack. I agree with Theodore, Tucker Carlson would eat you for lunch.

  4. Tom Roy,, well stated. I too had the impression that Jon Keller was Fair & Balanced,, but his comments against the Right and protecting Hillary proves he is not. Now that a hidden operative in the FBI has come forward with recorded information that both Hillary and Obama were knee deep in this cover up we will see where the Real Truths & Facts lead and not the liberal/democrat BS.

  5. lizzzy321 says:

    Jon Keller – That’s a pretty rash and harsh judgment that people are willfully ignorant. Government and politics are so full of corruption and lies, that it’s a wonder anyone can sort out what is going on at any given time. And the media throws an even denser layer of it over the whole mess, with biased and selective coverage that is more opinion than news. Tell me where is the integrity?

  6. Al Butler says:

    I heard John talking on the radio about this and found it amusing that he would jump all over the Shepard Smith commentary. Apparently far left leaner I assume. Sorry John, you had some respectability until this one.

    If you think that those people on those committees didn’t understand that Clinton and Obama would not politically retaliate against anyone who voted no. Hmmm. They like to eat as well as hang on to those plush jobs.

    Apparently someone had 100+ million reasons to have those committees vote yes.
    It’s only the tip of berg as they say.

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