I’m Not An Expert, But I Play One On TV
Good evening, generic TV news host and unwitting audience. I am your television news expert.
I know you are looking to me to provide deep insight into the topic we’re discussing. This is understandable, since the fancy chyron under my name describes me as an expert. On top of that, I just told you I was an expert and the host introduced me as such. So you can be forgiven for thinking I am an expert.
Truth is, I know very little about the topic we are discussing, but I have worked in tangentially related fields and can use the word tangential. I think Angeline Jolie once went to the country we’re talking about. Or maybe it was some other country. One with poor people, maybe? It’s a really unfortunate situation and I think we can all agree: Something needs to be done about it.
I was the only one available when the producers called. That’s because I don’t often leave my desk. I mean, I wouldn’t want to miss anything! There’s a lot going on in the world, after all. I need to keep up with all the important developments, which I can do from this desk. Oh, and I occasionally read The Economist.
Did you know war refugees are streaming into Europe at an unprecedented rate? I didn’t either, but I just looked it up on the Internet and am repeating it here with conviction. The other expert on this show will disagree. He must have looked at a different web site.
Now, I don’t want to speculate about who did or did not do something, but clearly they did it and it is the best or worst thing ever to happen. And I dislike hyperbole, but this may end up being the most important issue of our time.
Now we will throw out selective numbers, some of which might even be accurate, because an expert knows you can use statistics to back up any argument, including a contradictory argument to your own argument. People who spout numbers also sound really smart. These glasses help, too, don’t they?
If you think you recognize me, that’s because I was here last week to speak expertly on a different subject. That’s how much of an expert I am: I have transcended the definition of expert and am an expert on everything.
I know I’ve been wrong in the past, and I’ll certainly be wrong again in the future. But I speak with confidence, if not with facts. The fact is, I love facts, particularly facts that are not, in fact, facts but that I call facts. That seems factual enough for me. And it will seem more factual to you the more I repeat it. Especially when I repeat it louder.
I’ve never been held accountable for anything I’ve said. Accountability is an illusion, much like my knowledge of this topic.
Thanks, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you enjoyed the sound of my voice as much as I did.