Experts in the audience

Yesterday evening while I was watching Donald Rumsfeld’s speech, at the Council on Foreign Relations on C-SPAN, three things struck me:

  1. Pete Peterson:

    “I’ve been informed that this occasion is also being webcast.
    Someday I’m going to have to figure out what that means exactly, but it’s apparently very significant” (audience laughs) (21:50/53:56)

  2. Secretary Rumsfeld:

    “I find when I come to New York, there’s always somebody in the room who’s the world’s leading export on a subject that I get asked about..
    and so I’d like you to identify yourself right now… All right then forever hold your peace…
    I am told, and it’s not authoritative..”


    Donald Rumsfeld

    This was in preface to his answer about missing Iraqi museum items, and given the context, a excellent piece of self deprecation.

  3. Audience Members with questions were asked to introduce themselves. All of them professed an institutional affiliation except one:
    1. American Securities LP
    2. former Senator, Indiana 3rd District
    3. Morgan Stanley
    4. PBS
    5. journalist

The journalist was pressed for her credentials (she was a freelancer) and treated as an outsider. Her question wasn’t even terribly biting– what are you going to do to prevent people like Saddam from using the banking system to hide their assets– but I got the sense that journalists were not welcome in the audience. (46:20/53:56.2)

This got me thinking about all the webloggers who are experts in their fields and how their expertise is presented and viewed.


My Computer has access controls which prevent the public appropriation of real audio clips, but I was able to bring you this low quality screen shot by using the analogue hole (using my brother’s Camera and tripod). #


I was wrong about the whole access control thing. It is possible to make screenshot of realplayer; you just have to turn off hardware acceleration. (31 May 5:41 pm) #