The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Our Favorite Rhetorical Enemy
From the Cabalmaster:
We opinionated TransitCabalists have this to say about the "Wendell Phenomenon" -- referring, of course, to our favorite foil, Wendell Cox:
Wendell Cox is a skilled media manipulator and a shameless self-promoter who once lived in Los Angeles and probably learned those "skills" there. He seems to believe in that old entertainment-industry adage: "There's no such thing as bad publicity." Another version: "Say whatever you want, just spell my name right." Gadflies, curmudgeons and dragonslayers are positive figures in American popular culture -- and Cox plays this role to the hilt.
Wendell Cox is also very good at collecting, organizing and presenting reams of data. He deserves credit for that; the guy appears to do his homework.
Cox also has a knack for putting together anti-rail arguments, presented with just the right "spin." These sound plausible until one takes a closer look. The problem: by the time people take a closer look, Wendell moves on to something else. But Cox cannot do this indefinitely before his credibility starts to erode; this process tends to proceed very rapidly once started.
Cox appears to have an insatiable appetite for publicity; he seems to bask in the glow of the limelight although he tries his best to present a low-key image. Part of his motivation may be insecurity. If this sounds unlikely, compare Wendell's work (and "curriculum vitae") with that of other rail opponents -- John F. Kain, for example. Although skilled and polished at communications, Cox is a lightweight when it comes to analysis. Little of his work would stand up to independent critical review. Slick presentation of shallow, biased analysis is the Cox trademark. Such a "show" cannot go on forever. Wendell Cox epitomizes the phrase "self-proclaimed expert." He knows this, and this fact becomes evident to anyone who gives his critique of Weyrich and Lind ("Twelve Anti-Transit Myths: A Conservative Critique;" see: www.publicpurpose.com/ut-weyrich2001.htm) more than a cursory glance.
After his fifteen minutes are up, Wendell Cox will become just another Zsa Zsa Gabor, "famous for being famous," as they say down in L.A.
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