Pandering To The Ignorant
Pandering To The Ignorant
Corey WilsonWednesday,1 July 2015
Howard Kurtz’s latest article, “From gay marriage to Confederate flag, how the media are turning intolerant,” is long and meaty, so let’s skip the cute intros and get right into it—I think that’s the most euphemistic sentence I’ve ever written. It’s also Canada Day so if I don’t get outside soon and start drinking, Tlapa—the snow goddess—will force upon us another harsh winter.
Before we begin the deconstruction, let’s skip the obvious hypocrisy of Fox News calling other news media intolerant and pretend we missed it.
Kurtz starts by saying, “But not only was the Supreme Court divided 5 to 4, some 40 percent of the country is still opposed to gay marriage—for either personal or religious reasons–and their views should be accorded some respect.”
The LGBT community represents 3.8 percent of the American population or 9,083,558 people—that’s larger than New York City (larger even than Canada’s three largest cities combined). Is the argument then that those nine million people should wait for their rights until 100 percent of the population votes in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage? Because that will never happen, and I know that you know that. I’ll also wager that you wouldn’t expect for a figure that absolute, so I ask you: What arbitrary percentage of the American population must be in favour of same-sex marriage? The majority is enough when voting for your president, why isn’t it enough now?
“Yet public opinion was very different when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and even when George W. Bush pushed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in 2004. Barack Obama’s position until the spring of 2012 was that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
This has always been a strange argument to me. I’m not sure if there’s a specific term for it like there is for an “argument from ignorance,” or a “false dichotomy.” The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what public opinion was 20 years ago, nor does it matter what President Obama’s stance on gay marriage was three years ago. The majority of Americans 300 years ago thought slavery was super cool. Opinions and ideals change with time—people like Obama, who may once have been opposed to same-sex marriage, are allowed to change (for the better) and recant their previous statements. It’s called growing. We all (should) do it.
“Now those who still believe that are being told, in effect, that they are not just wrong but immoral.”
Because it fucking is. It’s immoral to prevent another citizen from living the (non-threatening) life they choose to live because you think it’s “icky” or because the guy who wrote your holy book said that he was told by your chosen deity that it’s wrong. The issue isn’t that you have to throw aside your beliefs. Simply believing that same-sex marriage is wrong is itself wrong, but that belief isn’t immoral. It becomes immoral when you restrict their rights.
“I also understand why many view the Confederate flag as the symbol of a treasonous regime that fought to uphold slavery.”
Because it is. It’s the banner of an armed insurrection against the United States of America. How anyone can—as you said—respect the Confederate flag is beyond me. It’s as stupid as Daenerys Targaryen flying the Stag.
Kurtz then quotes writer Rod Dreher in Time in which Dreher comments on the conservative position of post-Christian America.
This confirmation bias is astounding every time. Today 83 percent of Americans identify as Christian. That number is astronomical when you compare it to places like the Netherlands or Sweden.
He then posts an email he got from Jeff P. (I assume a viewer of his show.)
“It is amazing that one of your guest this morning on Mediabuzz said the confederate flag should come down if it is offensive to our neighbors. But if you are one of the 40% who disagree with gay marriage for religious or other reasons, you need to shut your mouth and accept.”
I know this is still a difficult concept to understand, so I won’t skip it. The Confederate flag is a symbol of an armed insurrection, a symbol of a pro slavery group who waged war against America (the country in which you live) to ensure that slavery (among other things) was not abolished.
Same-sex marriage is a symbol of love between two people.
Is the difference clear yet?
“How long will it be until someone complains about the American flag and we take that down?”
Why would someone ask you to take down your American flag? What is the complaint? Is it a symbol of racial exploitation? This is nothing than a pathetic attempt to appeal to our emotions, and may just be the dumbest part of the entire article.
“But for now, the media ought to practice something they have long preached, and that is tolerance.”
Yes, Fox News. Yes you should.