Some palate-cleansing schadenfreude, especially for Sarah Palin fans, to start the long march to Christmas vacation. Take this as a reminder that education doesn’t end when you receive your diploma. To live is to learn, even for a celebrity journalist in her late 50s.
It’s just that that learning sometimes happens at a seventh-grade level.
Be4 I sign off learned a new word in church today: Eschatology. Anyone?
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) December 1, 2014
Until now, everyone thought her asking Palin what she liked to read “to stay informed and to understand the world” was a backhanded way to suggest Palin was an ignoramus. Turns out she was just looking for recommendations. I’ll say this for her, though: It’s very unusual for a member of the media clerisy to cop to ignorance about anything, especially something as basic as the definition of a word. Feigning expertise on the topic du jour is part of their trade; if it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be able to muster the authoritative tone that makes their industry (and Gell-Mann Amnesia) possible. Andy Levy had their number last night after Couric’s tweet went viral:
*journalists frantically look up ‘eschatology’*
— andy levy (@andylevy) December 1, 2014
I’m fascinated that she’d admit so freely to not having heard the word before. Maybe she’s just generally, and commendably, frank about acknowledging the limits of her own knowledge, or maybe she’s reached a place professionally where she knows she can admit to pretty much anything without having to worry that it’ll hurt her. Maybe she thought “eschatology” was so arcane a term that even most of her million followers on Twitter would scratch their heads too. Or maybe this is the media bubble about religion in action: Even among churchgoing members of the trade, the finer points of theology are a total mystery.
Exit question: How long before Palin replies on social media? She can’t pass on a lay-up as easy as this.