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.