Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Press: Making us Stupider

Our press, and the fools who hang on their every word, can be surprisingly naive 

Reporter Lara Logan had this to say in an interview after her frightful gang rape in Tahrir Square during Egypt's Arab Spring:
Before the assault, Ms. Logan said, she did not know about the levels of harassment and abuse that women in Egypt and other countries regularly experienced.
“I would have paid more attention to it if I had had any sense of it,” she said. “When women are harassed and subjected to this in society, they’re denied an equal place in that society. Public spaces don’t belong to them. Men control it. It reaffirms the oppressive role of men in the society.”(NY Times)
How could a journalist not know about the ugly plight of women who suffer in silence in backward societies?  Rape is one of the most common tools to punish, to denigrate, to demean and to silence.  I wish she could have arrived at this enlightenment without having to endure an ugly crime at the hands of brutal misogynist miscreants.

Hot Arab Lesbian Chicks!

The latest edition in the catalog of journalistic ignorance involves "A Gay Girl in Damascus," who wasn't really the LGBT hero of the Levant that they thought she was.  She was really a he, a "40-year-old straight dude from Georgia living in Scotland," which is almost as interesting if you think about it.

I expected the soft-heads who believe in Arab Springs and Islamic democracies to lap it up, but even CNN was fooled.  The clues that this was a hoax were obvious to those willing to view all with a critical eye.

First, how does a woman's lesbianism even become an issue in the Middle East, where homosexuality stays deep underground because it is punished by jail and death?  If she's a lesbian fingered by the government and society, she's not going to be blogging about it from her apartment, she's going to be suffering in a dungeon or dead.

The other big clue was this excerpt from the CNN interview (feel free to laugh along with me):
Besides, "she" has never been harassed by Arabs for being gay. But in America, "she" has been "struck by strangers for being an Arab" and "had dung thrown at me" for wearing the hijab.
I haven't heard of any dung attacks lately her in America, have you?

But seriously, the level of ignorance displayed by our reporters is stunning and a detriment to the nation.  Many seem shocked to find that the world is a dangerous place.  I know it is, I've been there.  Is this willful ignorance on their part driven by reflexive political correctness?

If anyone has a more plausible explanation I'd love to hear it...


Always On Watch said...

I attribute Lara Logan's ignorance to the poison of multiculturalism. She was educated to believe in "the noble savage."

Honestly, there are hordes of Westerners who have swallowed the poison that I mentioned in the first sentence of this comment. This poison is being injected to schoolchildren from day one!

Always On Watch said...

BTW, I know something of that poison, with which I was injected to a small degree when I was in college (1968-1972). Fortunately, I had parents who told me the truth!

Today, we have parents and grandparents who have ingested enough of that poison that they don't instruct their children to counter what they're being taught in schools today.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit stunned that she "didn't know." A friend of mine in college took a trip to Egypt with the school. She told me that before they went, she and the other girls that went were all briefed on Egyptian society and how they needed to be extra cautious. They were told that the men were extremely gropey (I might have made that word up), and that they were not above heinous sexual assault.

So if college girls are briefed on this sort of thing and made abreast of it, how the heck would a journalist be completely ignorant of this same information? She's either lying or stupid. I'm not trying to suggest that she deserved the treatment, but if I'm going to a foreign country I at least try to know what I'm in for.

As for the gay chick in Syria, or whatever, I don't really have a problem with it. It was no different than any piece of fiction. Just because it's on facebook or a blog means we're supposed to assume it's factually true? People on the left who are angry at it are just mad that they fell for it.

Maybe now they won't take everything they read on the internet as gospel. Maybe they'll actually go read Locke, or Aristotle, or God forbid anything that the founders wrote about government and society. I'm not holding my breath on that last bit.

Silverfiddle said...

I too found it stunning, Jack. Like you, although I criticize Logan's ignorance, I am in no way saying she deserved what she got. She absolutely did not.

I think too many people willfully ignore human nature and reality in the name of political correctness, non-judgmentalism, multi-culturalism or whatever the feel-good ism of the day is.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely, Silver. I think the thing that people don't understand is that we don't have to accept a culture as being "good." People take cultural relativism to the extreme, so much so that they're willing to lie to themselves just so they can appear to be non-jugdemental.

What they don't understand is that although someone can understand a culture, you don't necessarily have to say that every element of the culture is a good thing.

Take Female Genital Mutilation for example. It's a cultural thing for many peoples, and I can understand why they do it. It's about property rights. Since property is passed down to their progeny, they want to make sure that their progeny is actually theirs. To keep women from cheating on them and being unfaithful, they render them incapable of having pleasure with intercourse. I understand why they do it.

I can say with some certainty, however, that the practice is still barbaric and awful and should not be permitted. We know that there are better ways to ensure property rights, and doing that to a woman is horrifying. It's unsafe and a complete breach of a woman's sexual freedom. I'm not going to sit here and say "well that's okay because it's their culture," because as one who believes in universal human rights, I have to believe that actions such as that are wrong for every person in every culture.

Unlike Liberals, I have no problem with people viewing me as judgemental. That's probably because I do have a big problem with being a hypocrite, so I try to be as consistent as possible. I'm glad I am not a politician so I can maintain the luxury of principles.

jez said...

Are there any western liberals who would fail to condemn FGM? Or, closer to home, who would fail to condemn a jehovah's witness who refuses to let her child have a needed blood transfusion?

Silverfiddle said...

Jez: A more important question, and one relevant to this conversation, is if there exists westerners who are willing to critically analyze current event and view them skeptically, regardless of whether the event comports with one's world view.

Fredd said...

That info babe is a liberal. I would fully expect liberals to run into reality face first frequently, since one of the requirements for liberalism is that you live in Fairy Tale land. Liberals wish to live in a utopian world that is free from want or need, a land that is fair and pure and they think that just because that's what they truly want, they can make it happen here on earth.

Liberals live within the confines of utopian hopes, and view the world accordingly. How could there be evil in the world, when they don't want evil to be in the world, they only want goodness and purity?

No, she didn't deserve what happened to her, but like delusional dopes who think they can fly, and climb 70 flights of stairs to the top of a skyscraper and give it a shot, eventually reality hits all utopians, sooner or later.

Some call these folks liberals. Some call them utopian dreamers. I call them idiots. Or dopes.

WomanHonorThyself said...

exactly what Fredd said!..leftardism! Have a beautiful weekend my friend!:)

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are some that don't condemn it because they don't want to sound "judgemental."

Relativists widthold their judgement, even though they know it's wrong. I've had many conversations with relativists that ended up with them backed into a logical corner that they couldn't escape on issues like this.

Anonymous said...

I don't find the ignorance of journalist stunning at all. They all have their Liberal Arts degrees from our liberal education system where they never learned how to think.

jez said...

Silverfiddle: yes there are, although that takes some effort due to the way we filter incoming opinions. I've read some psychology that demonstrates that we emphasise similarities when we hear opinions that sound close to our established opinion, and emphasise dissimilarities with opinions that sound different. Also it is difficult to avoid observation bias. One must learn to deal with both those effects, and even then it takes effort to overcome them, but from that point it is fairly easy to maintain a sceptical and disinterested attitude.

Jack: it's possible you're using language differently. If you demand that the relativist declares that "FGM is objectively wrong", obviously he won't, because he doesn't assume that "objective wrongness" exists.
In practice, the effect of his claim "I believe FGM is wrong" is identical to your grander claim "FGM is objectively wrong". Meanwhile, it is a stone cold fact that there exist people who believe that FGM is ethically acceptable, even desirable.

Anonymous said...

Most relativists are content to say "I think it's wrong, but they think it's right." They try to leave it at that, ignoring the logical fallacy of the whole line of thought.

Because then you can say to them, "well was it wrong for Stalin to send his people to die in the gulags?" Of course, they know in their heart that it's wrong, and that such injustice should not be tolerated, but for the sake of ideological consistency they'll say that it's okay because he thought it was.

My point is that relativists lie to themselves because they know that certain things are objectively wrong because there are certain things they would never want to have done to them.

And they do it so they don't look judgemental. I guarantee, however, that they hope that there is an objective wrong and right when they are the ones who are violated so they can demand justice with some certainty that it will be meted out.

jez said...

The notion of a consistent, objective morality is certainly a comfort, and both you and the relativist might like to be able to say "genocide is objectively wrong" but neither of you have that luxury. Off the top of my head, in the Old Testament God commits genocide twice (flood, passover), instructs it once (canaan) and approves of it once (benjamites). I'd be very surprised if that was an exhaustive list. I assume you're a christian, and I assume that you approve of genocide, if it's sponsored by God.
At least the relativist, unencumbered by ancient religion, can hold the consistent, albeit admittedly subjective, opinion that genocide is always wrong.

Jersey McJones said...

Ignorance of the greater world around us is an unfortunate American trait.

I remember after hurricane Katrina, a woman I know (a conservative Republican, by the way) told me that she was shocked to learn there were so many poor black people living in New Orleans. She simply had no idea. Anyone with a solid grounding in US history would know that.

Look at various questionaires filled out by the general public in studies. It's ASTOUNDING what we don't know.

Here's a look at what we know about our own politics (notice we're getting dumber):

Here's a little quiz on religion (I scored 100%). Check out the portion of people who scored far, far lower...

It goes on and on. You can Google this stuff. It is not so much our "liberal" education system, which is a bit of a myth, but our culter of anti-intellectualism, and intellectual ambivilance that is the problem.


Jersey McJones said...

Jack, I'm not sure what you mean by "relativists." I don;t know anyone who would label themselves as such.

There are objective ethics, and you don't need religious morality to ascribe to them.


Anonymous said...

"It reaffirms the oppressive role of men in the society.”

Would that be the effete oppressive metrosexual males who dominate the media, Hollywood, and academia?

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Always On Watch stated: "Today, we have parents and grandparents who have ingested enough of that poison that they don't instruct their children to counter what they're being taught in schools today."

There are plenty of parents and grandparents in America (I for one) who have and do instruct their children and grandchildren as to the truth to counter what the schools are teaching, but far too many children today have been indoctrinated into believing that the older generation, including their parents and grandparents are 'old fashioned' and don't know what they are talking about.

Ignorance is no just confined to those coming out of journalism school, it runs rampant through out all fields of academia today. I guess we all know now, what 'Liberal Arts' means.

Jersey McJones said...

Most Rev.,

I'd love to know the "truth" about American history as told by you. I assume all the good guys agree with you and all the bad guys are liberals, fascists, atheists, and comunists.

We Americans have an interesting history. We should at least, first, look at it at face value. Jingoism is for fools.


Anonymous said...

It's basically like a reading a story about a poor African family who moves to America and starves to death because their unemployment benefits were cut. Sure you and I would raise ab eyebrow, but the propaganda media would run with it.

Anonymous said...


Relativists are the kind of people who would have us believe that sometimes, "under certain circumstances" murder, rape, robbery, vandalism, extortion and harassment are justifiable. Relativists refuse to deal in absolutes, believe in applying multiple standards depending on whose ox is being gored, and consequently refuse to recognize any boundaries whatsoever.

Relativists are the kind of people who can persuade themselves -- and try to persuade others with a straight face -- that oral-genital contact is not really "sex." I imagine they think also that it's possible for a girl to become "just a little bit pregnant."

Things are either true or false. There is no middle ground, IF we agree to operate by logical principles, not live in a jungle where "anything goes."

~ FreeThinke