As if the Megyn Kelly affair weren’t bad enough…you remember her, the posing journaliste but actually failed attorney who managed to claw her way to the top of the news world until her tone-deaf utterances about blackface put her in her rightful place–as a petulant egomaniac who needs some (re-)educating.
The era of fake news has not wholly effaced the age-old journalistic phenomenon of hacks trying to pawn off yesterday’s news as some kind of scoop to suit their own agenda and that appears to be the case with a blond Swedish-ishistic fellow with a suspiciously compound French-Suédoise moniker (and yes, when a guy is blond it’s always a relevant detail: see Trump, Donald).
As rockets were being fired from Gaza to southern Israel, self-described and apparently bubble-enclosed “writer and archaeologist” (in that order) Philippe Bohstrom implied in a piece published in the radical left Israeli pamphlet Haaretz that a portion of the famous Antikythera Mechanism, which is the Kim Kardashian of ancient treasures (really boring, but famous for being famous), had just been found at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. The mechanism, often erroneously described as an “ancient computer,” sits in the National Archaeology Museum in Athens. But there’s just one thing: the “missing” piece was actually found last year.
That’s right! And there’s something else you oughta know. Archaeologists and sundry unearthers of treasures ancient have been trying to puff their chests and impress the world since the days of Heinrich Schliemann, the 19th-century German who claimed to have found Homer’s Troy. Which was a bit on the specious side — he found something, yeah, but exactly what from which period of time is open to interpretation, and lots of it.
Self-aggrandizement is par for the course in almost all professions but the problem when archaeologists, self-proclaimed or otherwise, get in on the act is that truth gets distorted. Bohstrom’s not the only culprit. Another archaeologist, a self-styled American Indiana Joanna named Joan Breton Connelly, has ridiculously suggested that an infant son of ancient beauty queen and timeless bitch Cleopatra was buried on a bit of rock off the coast of the island of Cyprus — and leveraged those claims to secure funding for excavation projects of demonstrably marginal cultural significance. (She’s also penned an unnecessary tome called the Parthenon Enigma, a gross misunderstanding of the Athenian temple that has all the credibility of a Dan Brown airport novel.)
The Bohstrom problem speaks, natch, to the Haaretz site’s unprincipled quest for clickbait, putting it on the level of InfoWars or some such, but that’s not all. It’s also a poke in Greece’s eye — because logically if a there is a major archaeological discovery in Greek territorial waters it would be reported in the Greek press first.
But of course it wasn’t reported in the Greek press at all — because it’s not a new discovery at all. Greek archaeological authorities aren’t as gullible as Haaretz obviously thinks its own readers are. What’s next…will Haaretz ask us to believe that whales are really sea cats in disguise? Ya gone!
Speaking of sea creatures, maybe some oxygen? Trained journalists, and credible news sources, should know better than to try to willfully dupe the Internet. Blonds probably do have more fun, but some need to work on that sauce de vérité before senselessly stirring the pot. Who knows, maybe some are smoking it too.
YOU can learn more about the Antikythera Mechanism, and where it is and what it is and isn’t, here.