Home media recent “Don’t Trust Experts, Experts Say”
Home media recent “Don’t Trust Experts, Experts Say”

“Don’t Trust Experts, Experts Say”

 I’m worried.

“Is ‘rainbow fentanyl’ a threat to your kids this Halloween? Experts say no,” NPR assures me.

And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in these past few years it’s to believe the opposite of what experts say. The media has given up trying to get people to trust it and now asks it to trust its handpicked experts. And those experts say the same exact things that the media says.

Every subject is now tackled by experts.

Do you think that a Senate candidate who can barely grasp a sentence is worrisome?

“Fetterman’s use of captions is common in stroke recovery, experts say,” the Washington Post wheedles. Experts tend to say that Democrats should be elected and Republicans shouldn’t be. They agree that when a Democrat does something it’s very different than when a Republican does it. And if you think the experts are biased, the experts will say that they’re not. Q.E.D.

Experts warn of the rise of “misinformation”. And misinformation has come to be defined by people disagreeing with experts. Experts say that anyone who disagrees should be deplatformed. If you disagree with the deplatforming, they say you should be deplatformed too.

Much like Canadians say “eh”, and the Brits say “innit”, the media says “experts say”.

The media is notorious for sticking “experts say” in any story no matter how irrelevant. No opinion, no matter how stupid or wrong, can fail to be headlined with expert opinion. Take, “Can a Person Be Fat and Fit? Health Experts Say Yes”, “Anatomy Does Not Determine Gender, Experts Say” and “Is it safe to blow out birthday candles? Here’s what experts say”.

I don’t know about you, but I always consult experts before blowing out candles.

The COVID era led to a boom in credentialism and expertism. These aren’t playing quite as well as they used to. “Is COVID Under Control in the US? Experts Say Yes” duels with “There are the new COVID variants that experts say could fuel a winter surge” which was preceded by, “Is the COVID pandemic over? Too soon to say, experts insist.” At least in China, they always say the same thing. “Tight control needed for outbreaks, experts say.” Now and forever.

Expert originated from the Latin meaning a person who had become wise through experience. It now has nearly the opposite meaning of someone who has a degree and credentials. To consult an expert is to roll off a litany of degrees and titles with little emphasis on wisdom or experience.

When Jill Biden insisted on being called “Dr”, the media rallied to her defense. “She has a title of her own that isn’t ‘wife’ but ‘expert,’ in this case on education.” Rana el Kaliouby, “an expert in artificial emotional intelligence”, urged other PhDs to add “‘Dr’ to your twitter name to show how many of us there are. We deserve respect.” Experts in being experts say they deserve respect.

The use of doctorates in titles is ubiquitous in European countries as a class signifier. Americans used to ridicule the absurd pomposity of non-medical doctors who wore doctor drag because we never had much of a class system. Credentialism is constructing one made out of experts who have never been less credible even in the days of phrenology.

Jill Biden’s thesis for her Ed.D degree was filled with spelling errors and read like a freshman term paper. It was based on a questionnaire and Kyle Smith noted that “again and again, the books she cites turn out to contain a huge proportion of the material relevant to her discussion in their first 20 pages.” But experts say all of that is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

Why do experts keep saying things? For one thing there’s so many more of them.

Between 2000 and 2018, the number of people with doctorates more than doubled from 2 million to 4.5 million. That’s a lot of instant experts.  During that same period, the number of institutions handing them out like candy rose over 10%.

In 1958, a total of 8,773 doctoral degrees were awarded, the majority of them in scientific fields. Back then they were a whole lot rarer and the holder was worthy of some respect. Three years later, the Apollo project was underway. In 1969, the year we landed on the moon, 25,743 doctorates were awarded, most of them in science.

In 2020, 55,283 doctoral degrees were awarded. And we’re far dumber for it, even if the experts won’t say so because they’re part of the problem. Many of the doctorates may be in science, but only in the sense that Dr. Jill Biden is a doctor. Quite a few, like Jill’s, are in education including plenty of emotional intelligence doctorates. There are PhDs in diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Including a Justice and Diversity in Education from Vanderbilt. Arizona State boasts of the “nation’s first School of Social Transformation” as part of a gender studies PhD program. Fat studies have their doctoral programs and experts say that’s good.

Why? It provides employment for the overflow of experts we’re generating at an increasing rate of 3% a year. Those experts immediately need to get jobs to pay back their astronomical student debts. And those jobs all involve telling us things that they know nothing about.

Experts require authority. The more experts we generate, the more the master class grows. And it’s a master class of idiots who are very sensitive about it and obsessed with suppressing dissent. During COVID, we discovered the proliferation of Masters of Public Health, bureaucrats knew nothing about science, understood even less and claimed total authority anyway.

The less the experts know, the more they say. The petty fascism of a bureaucrat with a nonsensical degree would shame the worst Latin American autocrat. Every political official who can now puts a PhD after his name. Visit California’s election site and you’ll see “Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D” in much larger letters than her actual title as the Secretary of State. Weber got a PhD in Communications before building a Department of African Studies at San Diego State.

From her Twitter handle to interviews, all have to be labeled “PhD”. In a recent interview, Weber proposed changes to the state’s recall elections to protect Newsom and keep someone like Larry Elder from being elected. Weber, appointed by Gov. Newsom two years ago, is obviously an expert. And experts ought to tell us whom we’re allowed to vote for.

The proliferation of experts is a measure of the decline of individual autonomy. Beginning in the last century, a new class of experts, think tanks and invented authorities began envisioning the world as a sterile laboratory in which society and human beings would be engineered to perfection. The great experiment, which began with socialism, eugenics and the end of nations is now concluding with a cargo cult of clowns waving their worthless degrees at the sky.

Slovenia, an ex-Communist country, has the highest percentage of doctorates in Europe. It hasn’t done anything for it and won’t do much for us either. No matter what the experts say.

Genuine expert opinion is welcome when it’s relevant and open to debate. But the degradation of expertise into credentialism and credentialism into Kafkaesque tyranny that pervades every area of modern life demands that the politically convenient opinions of every woke PhD in an invented field be treated as if they have the verities of Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein.

The activists have become experts and the experts, activists, and, like at the conclusion of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, we look from activist to expert to woke idiot, and we can’t tell which is which, but we know that we don’t trust a single damn one of them.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.


  1. Anonymous23/10/22

    Ever notice how every PBS "Science Documentary"
    carries a "message"? It could be "climate",
    Keynesian Economics, natural origin of Covid.
    If it starts and ends with dogma instead of data,
    it's not science.

    Incidentally, the Marx Brothers were: Groucho,
    Harpo, Zeppo, Chico, Gummo, and Karl.


  2. Anonymous23/10/22

    Great article. I pursued a graduate degree to get a raise. I was actually disappointed at how easy it was compared to achieving my initial degree many years before. It did, however, make me realize that credentials and titles do not make one person smarter nor does it make one's opinion necessarily more valuable than another; it is simply a matter of someone being willing to jump through a few hoops.
    Perhaps another reason the media like to use the term "experts" is that it's also a way to inject the writer's personal opinion and still maintain the appearance of objective journalism.

  3. Anonymous23/10/22

    We can skip that whole PhD process and instead create several vapor entities complete with web sites and Facebook pages...they need lofty names to give them the veneer of authenticity. Ideally the principals should have hyphenated last names, with titles like Senior Fellow, Research Director, Chief Diversity Consultant, etc. Leftists who listen to NPR will intrinsically know these are real experts and the positive buzz will begin. We post a few 'position papers' on the sites and move to phase three...we start quoting our experts. Hmm...it begins to sound like something the FBI did a while back.


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