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Debt Debate Question Fail of the Day

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By Doug Powers  •  July 20, 2011 03:46 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

This is almost as funny as the time MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer referred to Jesse Jackson as “Reverend Al Sharpton” (I heard Contessa had to boycott BP for three weeks before Jesse would forgive her).

This time around, Brewer was questioning Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks on the debt issue and attempted to discredit his qualifications for arguing the topic by asking condescendingly, “Do you have a degree in economics?”

You’ve probably already guessed what the answer is:

You can tell by the look on her face the question wasn’t out of mere curiosity, but an attempted intellectual smackdown that ended up going hilariously awry.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air adds

Brooks actually has three degrees: political science, economics, and law. As a lawyer, Brooks would have been experienced enough not to make Brewer’s mistake in a cross-examination, which is to ask a question without first knowing the answer. Not only that, but Brewer was being flat-out rude as well as foolish; MSNBC invited Brooks to appear to get his perspective on the issues. If their hosts respond by belittling them (whether it backfires or not), what does that say about MSNBC, its management, and the kind of invitations they make?

Since Brewer made an issue out of having an economics degree before engaging in economics debates, she must have a doctorate in the subject herself, right? Not exactly. According to her Wikipedia entry, Brewer has a baccalaureate in broadcast journalism (magna cum laude). Apparently they didn’t teach interviewing skills at Syracuse, or logic either, as a requisite for the degree.

The economy we’re witnessing was designed in part by people with degrees in economics — many of whom are now scurrying back behind the protective walls of academia — so being in possession of an economics degree obviously doesn’t automatically equate to solutions that make sense in the real world.

But in this case, Rep. Brooks put his degree to excellent use.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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