Hook, line aaand sinker.
September 7, 2001 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Hook, line aaand sinker. Garry Trudeau falls for a hoax about President Bush's IQ.
posted by Steven Den Beste (33 comments total)
How exactly would someone believe that?

1.) It maches a political ideology a bit too well
2.) It claims to measure IQ based on published books (probably co- or ghost-written, anyway) and speeches (eh, ditto).
3.) It's from Scranton, PA.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:39 AM on September 7, 2001

Trudeau's vicious satire.

Maybe in '72. Trudeau's shtick hasn't been vicious, or even really satire, for nearly a generation. Nowadays, repeating the same jokes from 25 years ago gets a little tired. Bush is stupid, hee hee hee... look, it's Raoul Duke! He'll do something crazy, hee hee hee...

Doonesbury as political satire is roughly on par with that asshole who does the moronic little piano numbers about "current events." So, you can't really blame him for engaging in a little ex-Hippie wishful thinking. He probably had a deadline.
posted by UncleFes at 7:40 AM on September 7, 2001

Fake or not Bush is still a moron.

Evil too.
posted by thewittyname at 7:47 AM on September 7, 2001

Yeah, I have no idea how Trudeau could believe something so completely ridiculous.
posted by Doug at 7:48 AM on September 7, 2001

Trudeau wrote this on his website: "The creator deeply apologises for unsettling anyone who was under the impression that the president is, in fact, quite intelligent."
posted by jragon at 7:49 AM on September 7, 2001

So the truth is out.
The IQ number presented by the hoax was WAAAYYYY too high.
Can't blame Trudeau for this one. Lots of people fell for it besides him. It was just sooo in keeping with what we know about Duhbya.
Too bad his name wasn't Bobby Lee, then Cheney could have placed a cardboard cutout in the Oval office instead and have a ready made story line created just for media consumption...

Wait a minute! Isn't that what happened? Duhbya said it best himself: "I'm just a media creation."
posted by nofundy at 7:56 AM on September 7, 2001

Political foul play is suspected to be behind the hoax.

posted by jpoulos at 7:59 AM on September 7, 2001

Make sure you read the strip in question before making too much commentatery. Its amusement enough that I have it pinned to my corkiary board at the office.

Seriously, Trudeau may be politicalation, but he's just a cartoonistary.
posted by vito90 at 7:59 AM on September 7, 2001

... And he apologized ...

We don't need a study ... we all accept it in one way or other ;-)
posted by a11an at 8:42 AM on September 7, 2001

Even so, isn't it a reasonable number (for Bush, not sure about the others)? Isn't 100 average, and Bush considered to be a bit below average? Check this (but, oh boy, do I so not endorse the "high-achievement society" that those pages belong to...)
posted by andrew cooke at 8:42 AM on September 7, 2001

I knew there was something fishy when the strip repeated the hoax that Bill Clinton has a 182 --- Vos Savant level! --- IQ. So did any "Oddly Enough" scanners repeat this tidbit before Trudeau?
posted by rschram at 8:58 AM on September 7, 2001

Andrew - I don't really put much faith in an IQ scale that marks people as "retards".
posted by SiW at 9:08 AM on September 7, 2001

SiW - The table gives population percentiles for different IQ levels. If it makes you feel any better you can make a local copy of the table, edit the words to whatever you approve of, and then look at the numbers again.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:18 AM on September 7, 2001

Isn't 100 average, and Bush considered to be a bit below average?

Yes, but (how to put this delicately) 100 isn't average like you and I. Average is average average. The average, for example, doesn't visit Metafilter.
posted by jpoulos at 9:23 AM on September 7, 2001

So he's not below average, just looked down on from the dizzying intellectual heights of Metafilter?

I see.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:33 AM on September 7, 2001

Which is different from you looking down on me because I took offense at the wording of the table?

I see.

Incidentally, I was wrong about the wording anyway. I wasn't paying enough attention to see that they are abbreviation. That period makes all the difference. Ah, semantics.
posted by SiW at 9:41 AM on September 7, 2001

andrew cooke:

Yes, basically. Not that MeFi is some kind of bastion of intellectual prowess or anything, but most of us don't intermingle with the people on the other side of the 100 marker (which is by definition an average IQ).
posted by delmoi at 9:49 AM on September 7, 2001

I, frankly, can't see much value in using a test designed to identify extremely low intelligence to measure high intelligence.
posted by rschram at 10:00 AM on September 7, 2001

I didn't take that list seriously from the start -- for one thing, it gave George H.W. Bush a ludicrously low mark, for someone who once ran the CIA and was ambassador to China. Heck, even Dubya got through Harvard. So nobody can seriously consider him low-IQ. And though Clinton may well have been a true genius-level IQ (which doesn't make him smart, especially where zippers are concerned), 182 was in what's usually termed the unmeasurable reaches. Most IQs that high are more or less estimated.

delmoi: You might be surprised. IQ does have a close relationship to articulateness, and I'd say that quality distinguishes MeFi from most places, but the IQ scale is closely (and somewhat controversially) tied to certain qualities. There's a lot of things it doesn't measure.
posted by dhartung at 10:04 AM on September 7, 2001

I don't really put much faith in an IQ scale that marks people as "retards".

That scale isn't new. It was used before PC police gave "retard" a negative connotation. The word retarded was a clinical definition for substandard mental and social development, a usage derived from the strict definition of the word. Same is true with the word idiot.

Not that we needed some hoax IQ chart to remind us the POTUS is a moron.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:25 AM on September 7, 2001


Bush Jr. went to Yale...and graduated with a C average. He went to Harvard for an MBA, but only after the University of Texas turned him down for admission into its law school
posted by thewittyname at 10:30 AM on September 7, 2001

Fuck Garry Trudeau. His strip is about as funny as a train wreck. Personally I hope somebody with a black hood and a sack of quarters jumps out from behind a "bush" ;-) and asks him, "What's the frequency, Kenneth?"
posted by pixelshaper at 8:30 AM on September 8, 2001


Hey Matt,

So where's that feature for blocking specific users? I'm almost to the point where I'd pay for it.
posted by jragon at 9:22 AM on September 8, 2001

If it's not true that " President Bush Has Lowest IQ of all Presidents of past 50 Years", who does? I mean someone has to be the dumbest president.

posted by Grangousier at 10:46 AM on September 8, 2001

Ronald Reagan was an unappreciated genius?
posted by gd779 at 11:07 AM on September 8, 2001

Yeah, Reagan turns out to have been pretty thoughtful. (Personally, I think his Alzheimer's may have kicked in earlier than was admitted.) I think we all know that Dubya isn't sitting around thinking deeply about public policy — even if some of us would find it politically awkward to admit. He's the dumbest president ever! I know, cause that table says I'm really smart.
posted by nicwolff at 11:11 AM on September 8, 2001

"I don't really put much faith in an IQ scale that marks people as "retards".

funny, the correct use of the term 'retards' in the IQ scale gives me *more* faith in it.
posted by jcterminal at 11:15 AM on September 8, 2001

How is that pixelshaper has supposedly been a member since February 11th- heck, before I was a member- and yet this "Fuck Garry Trudeau" post is his first comment? This may be a record for the longest lurking troll in Internet history...

IQ is a dicey thing, and generally speaking I dismiss it- while there are obviously variations of intelligence, I believe that beyond that 3rd SD you're basically in bald-faced estimation territory because accurate tests cannot exist- and what, exactly, is the qualitative difference between say an alleged 150 IQ and an alleged 175 IQ, besides that score on the test and the supposed rarity it implies? And how useful, for example, are "parlor trick" examples of intelligence like lightning calculators or eidetic memories? Are these really intelligence, or just minor flukes of brain power that don't really matter to any assessment of intelligence? Most amusing are those alleged 210, 215+ IQs or whatever that make someone's IQ so rare that the historical population of the entire human species is still 1,000 times too small to allow for the statistical likelihood of that person's intelligence occuring even once in all of human existence.

And with that, I simply must link here to my all-time favorite "High IQ" website, the Giga Society- the dissonance between this guy's professed IQ and the quality of this web page is so startling it single-handedly reveals high- IQ nonsense as nothing more than a cheap salve on the wounded egos of acceptably bright but insecure individuals. Oh, and note the opening sentence "Although the emblem of the Giga Society is not reprinted on this page, you may just be able to see it if you look very hard." Gee whiz, fella- most people with an IQ over 91 couldn't miss it!

Yeah, and besides Bush is StOoPiD! Neener neener neener! :)
posted by hincandenza at 12:55 PM on September 8, 2001

Um, doesn't anyone have a problem with people looking for facts on the funny pages in the first place? ....You mean, dogs can't talk? Cavemen didn't play golf? Stuffed tigers can't come to life?! My whole world has been turned on its very head!
posted by kevspace at 1:15 PM on September 8, 2001

This thread is the Metafilter equivalent of the UN Conference on Racism.
posted by aaron at 2:20 PM on September 8, 2001

I do find it funny that most people who proclaim their high IQs have little external evidence for those high scores... (oh yeah, publishing in =Parade= weak brain teasers =so= convinces me you're a person of genius level. mmmhmm, Andrew Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem can't be correct because we =all= know non-Euclidean geometry is not real. oh boy. Marilyn vos Savant is a certified idiot, as far as I'm concerned).

I visited a couple of "Omega Society" web sites, and their publications are a hoot. On the order of perpetual motion machines hoots. Oh I see that at the Giga society, scoring high on an ESP test will get you in as well. Feh.
posted by meep at 2:27 PM on September 8, 2001

Bush Jr. went to Yale...and graduated with a C average. He went to Harvard for an MBA, but only after the University of Texas turned him down for admission into its law school

You must live a really sheltered life if you think someone with a truly "average" IQ could make it through Yale with a C average and get an MBA from Harvard.

We're not talking "average IQ among college students."
posted by straight at 9:48 AM on September 10, 2001

While I am definitely not one to argue for bush's intelligence, I noticed that 100 is actually below the average intelligence of a high school grad (104), so I'll admit that 91 may be a bit low. However I'm not sure that getting an MBA at Harvard actually proves anything, nor does a C average at Yale. Could just mean that he had good enough connections that they were afraid to fail him.
posted by jnthnjng at 10:44 AM on September 10, 2001

« Older We all need WOW Cards   |   Best. Auction. Ever. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments