Conservatives in the media have been writing about it for some time, and now there is concrete evidence that illiteracy on the left has run amok. Not one to mince words, Britain’s bawdy Daily Mail has dubbed an inane tweet by 74-year-old MSNBC newswoman Andrea Mitchell a Shakespearean tragedy. They have, as the saying goes, hit the nail on the head.
In a cocky, patronizing comment intended to embarrass Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the MSNBC reporter ended up humiliating herself instead. Appearing on Fox News to discuss the ongoing impeachment trial, Cruz cited one of the most quoted Shakespearean lines of all time from the masterpiece Macbeth. He said, “It’s reminiscent of Shakespeare [in] that it is full of sound and fury, and yet signifying nothing.”
Unable to rein in her pomposity, Mitchell tweeted the following retort, “@SenTedCruz says #ImpeachmentTrial is like Shakespeare full of sound and fury signifying nothing. No, that’s Faulkner.” Then political columnist Jennifer Rubin doubled down in agreement with Mitchell’s idiocy. The Twitter-verse went wild and issued some very humorous responses:
From Robert George of Bloomberg: “Um, Andrea. You know how ‘Out, damn spot!’ might SOUND like it’s from a Tide commercial, but it’s REALLY from Macbeth?”
From New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, “Faulkner wrote the book ‘The Sound and the Fury.’ But the phrase comes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: ‘It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’
From Virginia Kruta, Daily Caller editor, “Unless Faulkner predates #MacBeth, @tedcruz wins this round.”
Perhaps the best rejoinder of all came from the senator himself:
“Methinks she doth protest too much. One would think NBC would know the Bard. Andrea, take a look at Macbeth act 5, scene 5: ‘[Life] struts & frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound & fury, Signifying nothing.'”
After about half an hour of being mercilessly slain in public, Ms. Mitchell tried to walk her error back with some dignity, “I clearly studied too much American literature and not enough Macbeth.” But therein is the issue at hand.
Ban That Book
The left has declared a jihad against much of American literature. Liberty Nation’s Sarah Cowgill articulated this in an article earlier this year, “What has been relegated to the burn pile? Homer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Dr. Seuss – and any tome with racist or misogynistic vernacular are on the pansy progressive purge list.”
Indeed, progressives have taken umbrage with To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men and – wait for it – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These and other American classics have been removed from various school districts for offending the sensibilities of progressives who believe the books carry racist messages.
Progressives believe the fallacy that removing literature from the libraries and bookshelves will cleanse America of its racist past. But as Liberty Nation’s Pennel Bird opined:
“Wielded carelessly, the power of indiscriminate erasure is a zero-sum game. It has to be possible to hold up the great work of artists of the past and the inspiring words of cultural giants who have preceded us with good faith, sensitivity, and a widened aperture allowing for multiple perspectives and counter-narratives.”
Erasing classic literature dooms young people to a narrow life of illiteracy and raises up a new generation of Andrea Mitchells. Instead of signaling that they are our betters, Mitchell, Rubin, and their progressive pals might do well to heed another saying widely attributed to both Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.