President Trump has named a former Fox News journalist with no background in international relations as his pick for America’s new ambassador to the UN. The crucial role – which former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley will be leaving at the end of the year – has previously gone to scholars, diplomats or experienced politicians. Heather Nauert, by contrast, was an anchor on Fox – the fiercely right-wing network regularly watched by Trump – before becoming spokesperson for the State Department last year. In that capacity she made headlines in June for citing the D-Day landings in the Second World War as an example of America’s “strong relationship” with Germany (sic). (The Week, December 15, 2018)
There are some Americans whose level of general knowledge is pathetic, who know no history or geography, or anything much really, and despise those who worked and learned something. These people can go on Fox News (or Misinformation) channel and can say the first (usually derogatory) thing that comes into their heads, because there is no one around who knows enough to hold them to account. And even if they did, lying and misrepresentstation is just fine with most viewers, it seems, who regard the knowledgeable as snobs. The talking heads on the Misinformation Channel are now the the people who currently call the shots in the United States.
To appoint Heather Neuart to the United Nations is an insult to United Nations and an embarrassment to those who believe in international cooperation. Epicurus shut himself away in his garden and talked philosophy when politics got really bad. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to avoid the noise these days.