In answer to the claims of the weapon's inspector, Mr Richard Butler, that he was prevented from doing his job by Koffi Annan, the then head of the United Nations (UN) , which was an accusation of treason (SBS National Television News broadcast (3/8/1999)), the media repeated the following inane responses by:
"a U.S. spy" and "trying to rewrite history favourable to himself.
"I don't think I have to comment. Everybody knows what happened."
— which is a stance that not only mirrors the current inadequate understanding of the public, but the ancient understanding revealed by citizens of the decaying Roman Empire; for in chapter 53 of "The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire" Gibbon described the popular prose of the time as by authors who make:
"the painful attempt to elevate themselves, to astonish the reader, and to involve a trivial meaning in the smoke of obscurity and exaggeration."
He could well have been talking about modern (1990s) journalists.