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Refusing to Argue With Stupidity

Posted on Aug 18, 2015 by

Over the past year, the News & Observer has published several incindiary editorials regarding the ongoing UNC academic/athletic scandal. We here at Tar Heel Depot have had fun highlighting the incongruities and huge logical leaps ubiquitous in those pieces. In a way it has been a winking relationship — we know that the editorial board of the News & Observer is writing to an “ABC” audience and we also know that our deconstruction pieces are primarily consumed by Carolina fans.

That relationship was sustained under the pretense of discourse. The News & Observer’s editorials, even if hilariously unrealistic, were opinions regarding possible responses from the university to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations. We made a point to highlight the logical leaps and embellishments upon which the opinions were “crafted,” then proceeded to explain why the suggested courses of action were ridiculous. It was stupid, but it was kind of fun.

So when the News & Observer published its most recent editorial suggesting that the disparate treatment of Roy Williams and Sylvia Hatchell is borne out of institutional sexism, you may have expected Tar Heel Depot to respond with another deconstruction…

If so, then sorry to disappoint you.

Breaking down the editorial line-by-line would be predicated on the same concept of “discourse” that permitted our previous deconstruction pieces. However, it has become quite clear that the News & Observer has no intention of actually engaging in discourse regarding the subject of the scandal. Labeling the piece an “editorial” hardly hides the fact that the Triangle’s preeminent newspaper is content to traffic in PackPride fan-fiction.

As the N&O clearly no longer has any intention in engaging North Carolina fans/alums in discussion, why even respond? Instead, we’ll take solace in the fact that the N&O editorial board has resorted to throwing the kitchen sink at the UNC scandal in hopes that by throwing around inflammatory terms like “sexism” they may just catch the eye of some national hot-take artist. That or their target audience is literally PackPride. Either way it’s truly a recklessness that reeks of desperation.

Trying to engage with such an approach is as pointless as it is emotionally exhausting. Allowing oneself to become infuriated by such blatant troll-jobs serves no purpose other than to give more voice to the loud but actually quite small faction of radical ABC-ers whose happiness is contingent on whether a particular piece of fabric hangs from the Dean Dome banners.

So let the News & Observer throw rocks and pretend they’re bullets. Instead of more deconstructions in response to future N&O editorials, we’re instead embracing the words of Mark Twain:

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

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