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Posts Tagged ‘Media Bias’

While Americans have been asked to look at their wild rhetoric and gun culture in response to Jared Loughner’s shooting spree, the lack of regulation, moral callousness, and ideology of abortion has not been given much attention (particularly by the mainstream media) in response to the Philadelphia infanticide and abortion horror show.  Dr. Gosnell, engaged in late term abortion, often delivering live babies whose spinal cords were “snipped” by him.  His immorality, greed, and utter sickness is evident, not least in his joke that one child he murdered “was big enough to walk me to the bus stop.” I literally can’t imagine what doing this kind of “work” day in and day out does to one’s soul, but clearly it does some very real damage, slowly snuffing out the voice of the conscience, and Dr. Gosnell’s moral vacuum extended to his treatment of these women.   Many no doubt were in desperate financial straits, because of his clientele and field he was largely free of real regulation, he had a bad habit of maiming, infecting, and generally mistreating his cohort of patients whom he was not intentionally killing.

There is something kind of quaint about the pro-abortion side’s ritual condemnation of Dr. Gosnell as an aberration.  After all, the advocates of abortion campaigned mightily to preserve “partial birth abortion” just a few years ago.  And partial birth abortion is no different than what he did, it simply takes place with the baby dangling from the woman’s uterus rather than on an operating table.  Moderns like us love to mock the middle ages, with their chastity belts and indulgences and various superstitions.  But what a cruel superstition that we have, as a society, to think a murder is any less a murder when it’s shrouded  by a mother’s womb, as if the act’s immoral quality were mitigated somehow by where it took place.  Any thinking person knows what is happening behind the curtain is murder, as the moral quality of an act does not change if it happens in plain sight.

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Perhaps it’s not that surprising when a clearly schizophrenic gunman kills a bunch of people, including a Democratic Congresswoman, the “mainstream” leftist media immediately describes him as merely “alienated” and the result of an atmosphere of “bigotry.” Where are these powers of generalization when all-too-common Islamic terrorism occurs?  Or black on white crime?  Or immigration-fueled gang violence?  Why in those cases is everything sui generis? Why in those more common cases, where reliable patterns have emerged, are we warned not to jump to conclusions about motives nor to demonize whole communities?

On the other hand, when a nutjob loosely affiliated with one of the two major political factions in this country, in that case, we can draw connections of beliefs and actions and demonize half the country in the process.

The liberal frenzy to find a Tea Party angle to the Tuscon mass murder is only made more ridiculous because this man many equally be said to be “left wing,” not least for his self-satisfied flag-burning demonstration on You Tube. The whole farcical reaction by the left is reminiscent of the 1960s-era desire to paint the Communist Lee Harvey Oswald as a tool of shadowy right-wing forces.

Seriously, the Arizona shooter wrote, “You shouldn’t be afraid of the stars. There’s a new bird on my right shoulder. The beak is two feet and lime green. The rarest bird on earth, there’s no feathers, but small grey scales all over the body. It’s with one large red eye with a light blue iris. The bird feet are the same as a woodpecker. This new bird and there’s only one, the gender is not female or male. The wings of this bird are beautiful; 3 feet wide with the shape of a bald eagle that you could die for. If you can see this bird then you will understand. You think this bird is able to chat about a government? I want you to imagine a comet or meteoroid coming through the atmosphere. On the other hand, welcome yourself to the desert: Maybe your ability to protest is from the brainwash of the current government structure.”  This is neither right, nor left.  Even if it were more one than the other, taken as a whole, it’s self-evidently the meaningless blather of a man that has completely lost his mind.

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One interesting phenomenon of our times is that the old-fashioned view that one may act on the basis of sincere belief has been hammered out of existence.  We don’t even say, “I think” or “I believe” anymore.  It’s “I feel.”

When a Muslim Pakistani tries to blow up Times Square, the establishment immediately search for an explanation in something demented about his individual psychology:  his economic circumstances, personality, and social relations.  The news media say, literally, “Motive a Mystery.”  Really?  But what of his beliefs?  His religion?  His ideas?   These real motives escape notice.  This can’t be the actual reason.  Such events can happen a million more times, but, for the liberal observer, the cause still must be found in individual psychology and possibly by something our evil society did.  It’s Rousseau on depressants.  Mayor Bloomberg and Contessa Brewer were both sad to find out the perpetrator was a Muslim.  Not because they are Muslims, but because the sincere, believing conservatives and Christians in their midst, those whose apparent motivation is sincere belief, find encouragement for their non-materialist worldview when men like Faisal Shazad rear their heads.  Genuine, religious conservatives understand and can explain their mirror-image opponents, the Muslims, with greater fidelity than the liberal who thinks all human action derives from the individual and his psychological impulses.

And why this assumption by the liberal?  I suspect it’s because their stated ideas–concern for the poor, a belief in social justice–are not what motivate those who talk this way; their beliefs are a thin veneer that do not explain their real drivers, an inner psychology made up of a will to pleasure and power coupled with half-thoughts such as guilty feelings about privilege, unease with inequality (including their own), fear of death (and therefore terror at suffering), and discomfort with the world in general.  Ideas and their explanatory power are denied entry into his mental universe by a thorough-going materialist nihilism.  “That’s just, like, your opinion man!”

For him, man is just a sophisticated ape, a mere bundle of atoms, impulses, and instincts.  Ideas don’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense in this world, because this world is defined by an all encompassing meta-idea that says every alleged idea is the mere epiphenomenon of some material cause:  thanatos, id, primitive group identity, or the residue of an abusive childhood.  Real ideas don’t exist as ideas to such people, and thus they can’t imagine they really exist for others.   So the ideas that actually explain things–that men are not really equal, that there is real evil in the world, that all people can’t live together peaceably so long as their ideas are in conflict, that the material explanation is incomplete–are immediately rejected, disappearing like idealist antimatter coliding with the materialist pseudoreality of existence.

There are many glaring gaps of illogic for the materialist; under this worldview, real human connection becomes impossible.  It becomes impossible because the highest connection, the search for truth, cannot occur under such circumstances.  Real truth is not considered to be intelligible, and this single simulacrum of a philosophical idea alone is allowed to exist.  The humane bridge between men of reason and thought and discussion can’t be allowed.  Sex and pleasure and distraction assume disproportionate significance, as these intense and also human experiences allow in a limited way the connection erased by the anti-philosophical materialism.  Villains who dare to expose these inconsistencies must be punished and psychopathologized.  And thus the Muslim is just treated like an alien force–a “human-caused catastrophe,” inexplicable through the perpetrator’s beliefs and ideas.  The more well known and hated idealism of native conservatives and Christians must be rejected with the greatest possible vigor.  Such men, unlike the foriegn Muslim, might actually persuade your fellows and retake control of the world wrought by the liberal revolution.

For the liberal anti-culture, the stated beliefs of the conservative are more familiar and more seductive.  There is almost no chance your daughter would go off to Harvard and become a Muslim fundamentalist.  On the other hand, she may become gripped by a conservative or Christian impulse, dissatisfied at some point in your life–perhaps when barren–by the false promises of feminism and materialism and nihilism.  And thus those who might lead her this way, are hated, rejected, and minimized by psychological reductionism.

For the man of ideas, the terrorist’s motives are obvious:  he thinks what he is doing is right, he believes God wants him to do it, he thinks those against whom he is striking are evil, and he is read and deduced this from the Koran which he takes to be divine revelation.  And this forthright and clear explanation, an explanation with predictive power, actually disempowers the terrorist more than the patronizing willful ignorance of liberals, whose entire worldview is threatened more by the acknowledgment of ideas (any ideas) than the conservative is by the violent expression of false ideas by the Muslim.  The false idea can be argued against or suppressed by force barring that.  For the liberal materialist, to acknowledge that anyone is sincerely motivated by ideas would expose the poverty of his own worldview.

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I knew someone once whose entire frame of reference to the world was through TV and movies. If something happened in a movie, it became part of his factual compass about how people do and could behave. This is more common than admitted and very dangerous, of course. Hollywood distorts the world through lies of commission and omission. From Hollywood, you wouldn’t know that more Americans go to Church on Superbowl Sunday (and every Sunday) than watch the Superbowl itself. You’d probably not know that Stalin and Mao’s regimes murdered more people than Hitler’s. And you would probably presume some wrong-headed things about the demographics of crime, particularly as it relates to the generally uninteresting and low IQ perpetrators of most real crimes.

Reality is so much more interesting, yet it’s scandalous.  It doesn’t quite fit the liberal script. Orlando, Florida, once a relatively safe tourist town, has seen its murder rate basically triple in the last five years due to a variety of demographic changes: growing population, mass immigration of poor, low skill groups from violent parts of the Third World (along with their unsupervised teenage children), and weakening sense of community. Nonetheless, this week has seen some real gains by the good guys in my hometown of Orlando, Florida.

A passerby–almost certainly a lawful concealed weapon holder–intervened during a brazen three-on-one robbery of a lady doing some last minute Christmas shopping. One of the suspects (as usual left undescribed by the Sentinel) was found later with a gunshot wound.

Then, the next day, a 91 year old man shot at the perpetrators of a home invasion robbery and saved his elderly wife. The article said:

Johnson bought his revolver for protection decades ago. A former citrus grove manager and plumber, Johnson said, “I’m still active. I still garden. We want to get a message out to other people. Be prepared. Keep your doors locked. And be alert.”

His wife added, “And have a gun ready.”

The Johnsons weren’t worried that the home invaders might return.

“If he comes back he’ll be sorry,” Johnson said. “I’m ready for him.”

The press is woefully irresponsible in general. Suspects are not described because of alleged group sensitivities, but this practice conceals facts about actual crimes and on-the-loose criminals. When combined with the more interesting but unrepresentative crooks on the TV and movies, this omission distorts our collective sense of danger. Likewise, stories about good things happening with guns are hidden, while rare accidents and accounts of “too many guns on the street” get front page billing.

If more of these two “man bites dog” stories were reported widely–and they certainly are common enough occurrences–it might slow down the criminal element from preying on the general public as much as they already do.

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I was struck in watching various Jonestown documentaries that the leftist ideology of Jones and his followers has been downplayed in most accounts. I had never heard word one about this until researching it recently, and it was barely visible in CNN’s documentary. For instance, most of the suicide victims willed their property to the Communist Party and an alternative to mass suicide considered by the group was defection to the Soviet Union.

There are certainly no shortage of right-wing crazies ranging from the Branch Davidians to Tim McVeigh. But left-wing violence is more often than not either treated as forgivable excesses–as in the easily rehabilitated murderers of the Weather Underground–or, at worst, as the product of deranged personalities and charismatic leaders.

If an abortion clinic bomber’s sins must be imputed to the pro-life movement as a whole, the tree-spikers of Earth First and the mass killers of Jonestown are treated as unique. This seems part of a broader attempt to excuse and compartmentalize leftist violence.  There is little attempt to examine the ways it flows logically from the uncompromising and “revolutionary” claims of the left as a whole.  Even the egregious violence of the Soviet Union was distinguished from how admirable Communism was “in theory.” Insofar as legality and “the system” are dismissed as obstacles, then such rhetoric surely has some relationship to the extra-legal actions of true believers.  But a confrontation with the Left’s violence is lacking from top to bottom.  Most egregiously, the current president began his political career in the living room of an admitted terrorist, and the media remained largely silent about it, just as they have flushed Jim Jones down the memory hole, treating his story as one of deranged personalities and an excess of religion, rather than typical leftist mania.

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I think this sober round up of the facts about the Jena Six case by a local reporter is pretty telling. Essentially, most of the myths, images, and interpretations proffered by the mainstream media in this case had little to do with reality, just as in the Duke Lacrosse case, e.g.:

Nowhere in any of the evidence [implicating the Jena Six], including statements by witnesses and defendants, is there any reference to the noose incident that occurred three months prior. This was confirmed by the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, Donald Washington, on numerous occasions.

The culture is sick.  It is sick with misplaced guilt, alienation, disregard for standards, and confused priorities.  The Jena Six is a great example.  Two of their members, whose claim to fame consisted of pummeling a white boy who “dissed” them at school, were recently honored by BET and given recognition at a music awards show. At the same time, down the road in New Orleans, the District Attorney’s office in this crime-ridden city has been paralyzed by a huge judgment against the (black) DA for firing almost all of the office’s white workers some years ago.

And yet in the face of these offenses–ranging from the violent to the merely venal–the media persists in its hoary view that white racism is still a major problem in this country. This aversion to unpleasant facts unfortunately enables an endemic culture of corruption and violence among the very Black Americans that the media is trying to help. This stupid denial of reality fuels a demoralized, cynical, and alienated division of blacks and whites even though most of the major evils of yesteryear–slavery, Jim Crow, lynching–were abandoned before most of us were born.

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Nobel-prize-winning genetics professor James Watson–as in Watson and Crick–speaks out about IQ and genetics and the like in a measured, scientific way.

Professor promptly gets suspended from job, viz.:

Earlier this evening, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Board of Trustees decided to suspend the administrative responsibilities of Chancellor James D. Watson, Ph.D., pending further deliberation by the Board.

This action follows the Board’s public statement yesterday disagreeing with the comments attributed to Dr. Watson in the October 14, 2007 edition of The Sunday Times U.K.

I watched The Lives of Others with interest recently. It told the story of how an East German Stasi officer, whose job consisted in part of listening to the bugged apartment of a famous artist, realized the venality of this invasion in the name of state security. Like the often anonymous posters on Gene Expression and other websites, the artist simply wanted to tell a story that was embarrassing to the official partly line, in this case the rampant suicide rate in the workers “paradise.”

Amazingly, today’s politically correct commissars are little better. But being decentralized, and often having power only in the business and academic world, we continue to think we’re free. After all, these commissars–HR “professionals,” university deans, tenure committees, newspaper editors–can’t throw anyone in jail, at least not in the United States. But when a wide range of thoughts, beliefs, and sentiments will quickly lead one to a life of penury and scorn if expressed openly, then clearly a type of power and social control is being exercised. When the media and local government collude to hide certain unpleasant facts from view and promulgate myths instead, then insecurity on the part of certain cultural and other authorities exists about the truth. From blogs to books to magazine subscriptions, club memberships, and opinions, all must be hidden from the “powers that be” as cleverly as opinions were once hidden in communist countries or terrible consequences will follow. We sometimes forget that communist regimes exercised most of their control not through threats but through the ability to keep a “subversive” from going to university, buying a car, or getting a decent job.

What a conceit to call modern America a free country. A free country needs a free thinking culture, and the fact that political correctness is now invading the once-immune hard sciences is a very bad sign indeed.

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