On Wainstein's Repeated Use of the Term Scheme
Guest blogger Don Brown is a former Navy JAG officer and the author of several military thrillers, including his latest Storming the Black Ice.
I was reading over the Wainstein Report, yet again, and, out of curiosity, decided to count the number of times Mr. W. and his trusty assistants used the term scheme throughout the report.
An easy search of the report will find that the term scheme is used at least 46 times. Let me repeat that: scheme is repeated 46 times in the Wainstein Report. That means in a 136-page report, the word pops up, on average, every 2.95 pages.
The word is always there. In the reader’s face. You can’t read far without seeing it.
Singularly, it is the most derogatory editorial repeated, over and over again, in this “report.”
In a less-than-subtle effort by Wainstein, the word is hammered home, over and over again. No doubt, Wainstein and company want that word out there, front and center, and they want the press to see it, over and over again.
Just get that word in the back of everybody’s mind, and everybody, including the mindless media, who will buy, hook-line-and-sinker, anything written by a “former federal prosecutor.”
“Ooh. Must be true, because a ‘former federal prosecutor’ said so,” say the mindless sycophants.
Sometimes the word scheme is used alone. But more often than not, it’s combined with the term paper class, to come up with “paper class scheme,” as if any class that requires a paper only—like most independent study courses—is somehow a scandal.
You know what takes the cake here about the repeated and reckless use of this word scheme? It’s Wainstein’s own admission, buried at footnote 12 of the report, that the term is “loaded.”
We read, straight from Mr. Wainstein’s own word processing program at footnote 12 of the report, the following:
We will use the term “scheme” throughout this report to refer to the operation of the paper classes. We recognize that “scheme” is a loaded term, but we use it here without any connotations simply as a concise way of referring to the collaboration between Crowder, Nyang’oro and certain ASPSA personnel to offer and make use of the AFAM paper classes.
Did you read that? Those are Wainstein’s own words—his own admission!
Wainstein recognizes that scheme is a “loaded” term, but claims he uses it “without any connotations”?
Come on! Without any connotations?
Do you really believe, Mr. Wainstein, that you are going to get away with using such a “loaded” term “without any connotations”?
You expect anyone who bothers to read your footnote to really believe that?
Give me a break.
Sorry, and in deference and with due respect to a $900-per-hour, distinguished “former federal prosecutor,” and his distinguished underling staff, but that explanation is just a bunch of horse hockey.
You deliberately pick one of the most loaded terms you can find, admit that it’s a “loaded” term, then use it over and over again, and claim that there are “no connotations” from using said “loaded” term, and claim, with a straight face, that it is simply as a "concise way of referring to the collaboration between Crowder, Nyang’oro and certain ASPSA personnel to offer and make use of the AFAM paper classes”?
Is Wainstein so dumb to think his repeated, loaded term isn’t going to slant or influence his report?
Is he so naïve to think that it isn’t going to take the media’s focus off actual fact-finding?
Is he living in such a fantasy land as to think the Dick Vitales and Fran Fraschillas of the world aren’t going to build mindless talking points and gasbag rants based on his deliberate and repeated use of a “loaded” term?
And we thought Wainstein’s role was pure and simple fact-finding?
Here’s a little hint.
True fact-finders don’t editorialize with loaded, explosive rhetoric, and then try and disclaim their editorializing in buried footnotes.
Let me help you out, Mr. W.
If you didn’t want to editorialize, if you really wanted to avoid connotations, if you did not want to set off a media firestorm to start a public narrative that has nothing to do with the real facts, there are a number of non-loaded phrases that you could have chosen. For example, you could have just as easily used "paper class arrangement" or "paper class procedures.”
Sorry, but the explanation at footnote 12 of why you chose that admittedly loaded term, scheme, as a “concise way of referring to the collaboration between Crowder, Nyang’oro and certain ASPSA personnel,” is simply not credible.
To drop this type of a loaded verbal bomb in this report, repeating it over and over again, knowing that such a “loaded” term will create connotations with the public which have nothing to do with fact-finding, proves conclusively, in my judgment, that this report is not fully about fact-finding at all, but, rather, influencing public opinion with a pre-determined goal in mind.
This type of irresponsible verbal bomb-dropping, repeatedly using a word that was, by Wainstein’s own admission, “loaded,” appears to have been deliberately calculated.
When this type of rhetorical tactic is used repeatedly throughout a public report, the author, deliberately and calculatingly assembling the report, should know full well that members of the media, and low-information members of the public, are going to latch onto such a “loaded” term, and such a “loaded” term will send misguided minds to predetermined conclusions of guilt, and throw gasoline on a media fire, and take the focus off the actual facts, or actual lack of facts.
That, in fact, appears to have happened.
This type of irresponsible language, fired with machine-gun repetition as happened here, using “loaded” language that will knowingly set off a firestorm, is not the tactic of a group seeking simply to lay out the facts.
This tactic, repeating a “loaded” term 46 times, appears to have been calculated for a deliberate purpose, and that purpose is not fact-finding.
It’s becoming clearer and clearer that, despite all the claims of the UNC Administration and the Wainstein group to “go wherever the facts lead us,” that this report, already noted to be chock-full of errors and omissions (just ask the Morehead-Cain Foundation and Wayne Walden), was written with a slant.
The more we read, the more we discover, more and more questions loom about the Wainstein Report, and its $3.1 million origins.
Those who love the University deserve an answer to this question:
Who is responsible for driving this slant, and why?