Alan Grayson: “HURR DURR DURR.” Coleman: “What?”

There’s a video link circulating e-mails lately about how a Federal Reserve inspector was asked questions about a lofty financial oversight, and the guy asking the questions, Alan Grayson, according to popular opinion, proceeds to reveal the real truth that the inspection committee knows approximately jack. However, that’s not what’s happening.


Dude: Has your bunch investigated a broad issue about which I will not ask a specific question, that I read in an article a while ago?

Lady: What article? What subject in particular in that insanely massive category?

Dude: It’s a subject that I will not be specific about. I just want you to say yes or no. Do you know anything about this vague topic?

Lady: Which topic do you even mean? You’re asking about an enourmous number of possible topics, and you want me to say yes or no, about whatever mystery topic you refuse to define?


Lady: What?


Alan Grayson is attempting to ask about a rather massive category of possible issues, but won’t pin it down to one particular topic. He’s essentially asking, “Are you investigating this large expansion of spending?” but refuses to accept that what Inspector Coleman has authority over could actually be a completely different nature than the corner he’s trying to narrow Coleman into.

She’s got this huge review that is covering a dozen things, and her jurisdiction is related to one specific sector of spending, but he’s somehow insistent on demanding that she know everything about all spending, categorically. When she is unable to answer about the broad picture (which is not her place to state, being that it’s still being checked out), Grayson seems to put words in her mouth when he summarizes his amazement at the end. He’s trying to summarize work that is in-process, without letting the review mete out as it needs be, and is upset that he can’t get his way. She never said, “We aren’t looking at those numbers.”

The viewer should have been clued in that this was going to happen, when the first question he asked (but shortly discarded) was loaded, which, to the effect is asking, “At what time last night, did you stop doing drugs?” To answer the question directly, is to fall into the trap. Stating, “I don’t do drugs” is avoiding the question. Alan Grayson doesn’t know how to ask questions sensibly.

2 thoughts on “Alan Grayson: “HURR DURR DURR.” Coleman: “What?”

  1. In framing a question, sometimes a confusion between the literal and the metaphoric or the implied can jump-start the listener into a new awareness of the situation where the old rules don’t apply.

    Grayson is certainly missing a halo, but with this question he is merely taking a cue from social critics like Jesus who went around asking questions no one wants to answer and answering questions no one wants asked.

    • If he’s taking cues, he’s taking them from Sam Kinison and getting red in the face over his own nonsensical ramblings.

      In framing a question, and having to repeat a question a considerable number of times without getting a straight answer, the asker may need to modify his approach after realizing his question is too vague.

      Jesus often answered questions that got to the root of the motive behind with which the asker attempted to provoke him.

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