A concerted campaign has been launched by the White House to plant in people’s minds the impression that the only people who oppose the president’s policies are racist, hate-filled and violent. The Editor-in-Chief of the Phoenix in her March 24 column, “America’s On Crazy Pills,” failed to check out the fact basis before joining the campaign.
Yet, what if the behavior she cites never took place? In most of the cases she mentioned, the evidence behind the claims of racism and death threats has been debunked. The debunking had begun before Ms. Maton wrote her column. All she had to do was read the full range of the blogosphere, as any credible journalist would want to do. For a summary from March 26, see http://michellemalkin.com/2010/03/26/how-the-left-fakes-the-hate-a-primer/
In many cases, the initial accusers have retracted (but only after the damage was done; they deliberately planted falsehoods, then retracted them when called out on it).
No one spit on Congressman Cleaver, no one shouted the “n-word” at that rally in Washington and no coffin was placed on a Missouri senator’s lawn to make a death threat.Nearly every incident of supposed violence by Tea Party members last summer turned out to have been initiated by union-organized thugs sent to Tea Party rallies to provoke violence.
The Tea Party movement is a remarkably grassroots, de-centralized phenomenon that should be fascinating to students of political science at Loyola. It is almost unique in American history for the degree to which it has arisen spontaneously and has gotten otherwise uninterested and uninvolved lower-middle class Americans politically involved and active.
But instead of an honest study of the movement, the David-Axelrod-and-Janet-Napolitano-orchestrated falsehoods are repeated as Gospel truth by the editor of the Phoenix and lessons then are drawn from the falsehoods.
The New York Times’ campaign against Pope Benedict XVI is likewise based on fraudulent documents. See http://catholicanchor.org/wordpress/?p=601. We tend to be most gullible when the propaganda we encounter accords with our own deep prejudices. That’s exactly when a journalist has to be in touch with her inner self, know her own prejudices and go out of her way to read the conservative blogosphere, as well as the mainstream press and only then make up her mind about what happened.
True, Ms. Maton put in a disclaimer that the behaviors she mentioned were only coming from the extremist fringe of conservatives. But her title applies the behavior to all of America. And at the end of the article, she employs one YouTube video to “seal” her final indictment of the whole Tea Party movement, exactly what she said she was not going to do. If one is going to let videos on YouTube be the deciding factor, should one not do some kind of general survey, which would include videos of deliberately provocative violence by union-organized anti-Tea Party activists (e.g., in St. Louis last summer) as one formulates one’s overall conclusions?
Any apprentice journalist worth her salt should be reading American Thinker, National Review Online, Wall Street Journal Online and Real Clear Politics daily. The list could be doubled, but these will do for a basic “control group.”
Surely a university is a place to learn how to read and assess information critically.Dennis Martin , Theology Departmentdmarti1@luc.edu]]>