Cloak of Loyalty’s Lies

This 2:22 scene from Shattered Glass is a model of self-deception — how a reporter allows her friendship to severely cloud her judgment. What’s especially educational is the turnaround time to see what would be obvious to anyone without a personal stake in it.

She repeatedly digs in to find a way to absolve her friend, but she can’t escape the envelope of arguments that cut off every avenue of evasion.

The screenplay was based on the Vanity Fair article below:

It’s indefensible! Don’t you know that?

Chuck Lane: This wasn’t an isolated incident, Caitlin. He cooked a dozen of them, maybe more . . .

Caitlin Avey: No, the only one was Hack Heaven. He told me that himself

Chuck Lane: If he were a stranger to you, if he was a guy you were doing a piece about, pretend that guy told you he’d only did it once. Would you take his word for it? Of course not! You’d dig and you’d bury him! And you’d be offended if anybody told you not to.

If only we could calculate the astronomical amount of waste we produce in our steadfast refusal to open our eyes as she did.

would it even matter to you then?

No need to see the next scene — as the excellence in her acting shows that intellectual honesty has overcome her. As the door swings a breeze her way, and she looks around to wonder — she is well on her way to the truth.

She has lived up to what Columbia President Lee Bollinger described as intellectual inquiry in Anna Quindlen’s article Life of the Closed Mind:

President Bollinger . . . described intellectual inquiry thus: “To learn to ask: ‘Is that true? Maybe there’s something to what she just said. Let me think about it. That’s interesting. Maybe I should change my mind. I changed my mind.'”

When is the last time you can honestly remember a public dialogue — or even a private conversation — that followed that useful course?

To qualify as arguing your views in good faith — at the bare minimum, there must some trace of taking into account what the other person is saying.

The idea is that I say something, then you get your turn, but that you actually consider what I said before you fire off your reply — and that your response indicates that to some degree.

Then I do the same for you — and this give-and-take exchange goes back and forth in an imperfect manner until an understanding is hashed out. Of all the great principles that foster fruitful conversation, this one is paramount:

You Improvise, You Overcome, You Adapt

I adapt to you and you adapt to me . . .

And somewhere in the middle or on the way to it, maybe we come to a meeting of the minds. Even after all that, you still have the option to totally disagree with your interlocutor, but at least you’ve heard them out with some sincerity.

There’s no finer example of “I adapt to you and you adapt to me” than these classic scenes from the all-time “Everyman” master.

The coach is coming from a different place — and his attitude from the start was:

I don’t have ballplayers, I’ve got girls!

But little by little, he came around — and once he saw them as ballplayers, he treated them as such.

And that’s what this first scene is all about:

But in the second scene, as much as he’d like to treat them the same as any player, he adapts to find some way of communicating his concerns without being too harsh.

You’re still missing the cutoff man. Now that’s . . . . that’s something I’d like you to work on . . . before next season.

And whad’ya know, she responds in kind! She recognizes that he’s trying really hard to get something important through to her, and that he’s adjusting his approach from last time — and she appreciates that.

Alas, this country is so far gone that even “this is something I’d like you to work on” is risky with the fragile. America’s culture of coddling flies in the face of the entire history of human achievement. Back in the day, she thanked Mr. Dugan for his instructive message, but now it would be:

The look on his face, his eyes, his hands shaking in my space  I felt attacked!

Spare me your line that only liberals act this way — as I wouldn’t have this mountain of material without conservatives’ systematic self-deception and constant complaining in their victimhood.

You’re all playing the same grievance-industry games

The most costly entitlement of our times is the unrelenting devotion to your own opinion . . .

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion … draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects or despises … in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.


Every day during lunch I’d walk back to my apartment in Fort Lauderdale for a bite and some MIDDAY MONK. After so many years of not seeing it, it was so fresh again. While I eventually came around to accepting Natalie way back when, nobody could beat Bitty Schram’s Sharona.

Bitty is Evelyn above — in case you didn’t make the connection.

THIS is banter at its best . . .