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I'm Pretty Sure David Brooks Just Blamed The Penn State Riots On Woodstock

Illustration for article titled I'm Pretty Sure David Brooks Just Blamed The Penn State Riots On Woodstock

We missed it over the weekend, but our man Pierce found this little turd of cultural intellection dropped by the Upmarket Jeff Foxworthy. Here's David Brooks responding to host David Gregory on Sunday's Meet the Press (if you're unfamiliar, Meet the Press used to be the Buffalo Bills pregame show). Their subject is the Happy Valley Sweatpants Riot of last week:

MR. GREGORY: And, David, you—look at the scenes out of Penn State this week. Paterno, Paterno with the shifting statements and sort of hanging on to his job. Folks—kids rioting on campus, protecting Joe Paterno, not understanding what is really going on here. Do they get it there? What is accountability look like, to E.J.'s points?

MR. BROOKS: I don't think it was just a Penn State problem. You know, you spend 30 or 40 years muddying the moral waters here. We have lost our clear sense of what evil is, what sin is; and so, when people see things like that, they don't have categories to put it into. They vaguely know it's wrong, but they've been raised in a morality that says, "If it feels all right for you, it's probably OK." And so that waters everything down. ...


Permissiveness! Moral relativism! The Sixties! That quote is like a David Brooks-hobbyhorse keno card. A bunch of dumb, restless undergrads mill around awkwardly and tip over a news van. Why? If you're sane, you say it's because they're dumb and restless and there aren't any cows to tip over instead. If you're David Brooks, you think it's because I'm OK, You're OK, the Port Huron Statement, that one version of "Dark Star" with the 63-minute jam, and Wavy Gravy conspired to teach America that child rape is "probably OK." How does a guy say shit like that on national TV and not get thrown through the fake backdrop? How do David Gregory and E.J. Dionne sit there and nod and not check if their coffee mugs are laced with acid, too? Why do the fancy classes still take this guy seriously? Forget evil. We've lost our clear sense of what stupid is.

Our Mrs. Brooks, Douthat, and Keller: At It Again... [Esquire]
Meet the Press transcript for November 13, 2011 []