Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Awful Truthiness of Annette Ziegler's "Gut Check" Philosophy

State Supreme Court candidate and sitting Washington County Circuit Court Judge Annette Ziegler's statement in Tuesday's Wisconsin State Journal that she uses a "gut check" when considering whether cases before her might present a conflict-of-interest got me wondering:

Who else said he listens to his gut instead of pesky, bookish facts - - like, say, those in a published code of conduct - - to get to the truthiness of correct official behavior?

Then I remembered: It's Stephen Colbert, the Comedy Central Bill O'Reilly charicature, who explained himself, his gut and its relative superiority to books and facts when he introduced himself last year to President Bush and the assembled media at the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

Let Mr. Colbert shed light on Ziegler's baffling courtroom style:

"Mark Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, my name is Stephen Colbert," the comedian said, "and tonight it is my privilege to celebrate this president, ‘cause we’re not so different, he and I. We both get it. Guys like us, we’re not some brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We’re not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut. Right, sir?

"That’s where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. Now, I know some of you are going to say, “I did look it up, and that’s not true.” That’s ’cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that’s how our nervous system works.

"Every night on my show, The Colbert Report, I speak straight from the gut, okay? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the “No Fact Zone.'”


Rick Esenberg said...


This comment operates on more levels than you probably intended.

James Rowen said...

Given the number of cases involved, Rick, I think that Ziegler wasn't even making a gut check. She was just on 'I-can-do-no-wrong' aotopilot.

Maybe it's as simple as her being oblivious - - a kind of benign arrogance.

In truthiness, her behavior is baffling.