Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Media plays us for fools and fools believe media

What happens when the news media fails us? When they report not what was said but what they want to distort for their particular agenda. It is something I have seen frequently though I admit I rarely comment on it. The reason is, to understand something sometimes a great deal of information is needed, so to correct a media distortion the truth and the context of a media quote have to be presented. People don't like that, they want the easy answer the solution of the now common news sound bite. The equally troubling thing is that this news bite analysis and repetition is being called research. I had this experience recently on Spectrum Magazine's website. Alexander Carpenter had an article on the Norwegian murderer entitled Is the Killer a Christian. Alex who is very much a Political liberal/progressive took the familiar tract that the killer was: “In this case, the terrorist thought of himself as a Christian and that identity fundamentally fed his politics.” You can see the word phrasing involved was an attempt to as many left leaning blogs were writing an attempt to portray the killer as a fundamentalist Christian, his Christian “identity fundamentally fed”, you see the technique which Alex uses, and elsewhere when he attempts to imply a list of conservative ideas as not responsible, but of course the list is meant to make them seem responsible. “And while those who wish to conserve a more capitalist, closeted, male dominant, creationist past are not responsible for this violence; fundamentally, Breivik is us.” I am sure there are a whole lot of other ideas that are not responsible that Alex could have mentioned some good and some bad but you can see what he is trying to do. Though the creationist part has nothing at all to do with Breivik but then neither does Christianity as a personal religion. As RealClearReligion's Rod Dreher points out:

But readers of Breivik's manifesto will see that he is not a Christian in any meaningful theological sense. Rather, he sees the faith much as the Nazi leadership did: as a European tribal religion that can be instrumentalized to provide the basis for an ethno-cultural war against the Other - in this case, Muslims. Breivik writes:
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.
To be even more specific the manifesto directly precedes the above Breivik quote by saying:
A majority of so called agnostics and atheists in Europe are cultural conservative
Christians without even knowing it. So what is the difference between cultural Christians and religious Christians?”
A large portion of the manifesto is dealing with Muslims and with much history of the Muslim and Christianity conflicts, but you have to also remember that Norway has a flag that is derived from the Crusader Flag, he is not really dealing as much with personal Christianity as a cultural identification and historical power struggles.
But back to the story, I posted the following message under the comments section in response to both the article and other comments on the thread.

Wed, 07/27/2011 - 10:27 Anonymous wrote:
"(See Glen Beck's outrageous comments today comparing the Norwegian young victims with Hitler youth.) "
This is probably the biggest problem going on here. Too many people don't know what they are talking about. Beck did not compare the victims to hitler youth. He was saying he would not send his children to a Republican summer camp that political indoctrination is not good, the hitler youth was an example of such indoctrination. But the author above does not know that because he only hears the critics distorted version and assumes it is truth.
Much as the orginal article assumes the murderer is a Christian when he does not even claim to be a Christian in anything more then a cultural historic Eurpoean sense. He cares nothing at all about a personal relationship with God...something much different from what we think of as a Christian.
But truth is often the first victim to propaganda and that is what much of the comments and the orginial article seem to be about.
To this the anonymous author of the comment I referred said:

r.c--do your homework. Are you a Glen Beck apologist?

Here's a quote from Norway's own Torbjørn Eriksen, former press secretary to Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg about Beck's comments:
"Torbjørn Eriksen, a former press secretary for Norway's prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, told The Daily Telegraph, 'Young political activists have gathered at Utoya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about. Glenn Beck's comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful.'
"He also described the comment as 'a new low” for Beck, who many see as one of the most divisive characters in the media.'"
Read the entire article here:
The coverage is pretty consistent about what Beck "said."
You have every right to defend Beck. He's just off base, way off base, in my opinion.
The plot thickens now. I who heard the Glenn Beck broadcast, albeit I listen to it one day later since I record radio to listen to at work the next day, which saves a lot of listening to commercials by the way. I need to do more research because what I heard appears to not be what numerous media outlets publish, some I saw without even using one full sentence quotes. The Christianpost article uses at least a full quote thought nothing of the context. You can tell he is recounting his thoughts from earlier hearing about the shooting, which after all if you hear about a shooting at a political camp you must wonder about what kind of camp is centered on politics and it is disturbing to many people. But you can tell that he is not equating the camp to Hitler Youth, it is clearly not even the main part of what he has to say about the camp. That comes a half hour later when he says:
“I would never send my kids to a Republican summer camp. Never in a million years would I send my kids to a Republican Party summer camp what are you nuts? That's what this thing was a Labor Party summer camp I don't know why you would send your kids to that. I see that as, you know my problem with the Nazi youth is that was a Party the Nazi's were the National Socialists Party, is Europe not going to learn stop with the Parties, stop indoctrinating you kids with the Parties.”
Besides the context think about how the media works with the news. Do you think that the former press secretary to the Prime Minister quoted in the so called news article listened to the Glenn Beck show, did the reporter present that half hour's worth of monologue? Or did he or she simply make the claim like the headline of the article says: “Glenn Beck Compares Campsite of Norway Shooting to 'Hitler Youth'” But in context did he not also compare it to a Republican Party camp? But the media appears to have found someone rather like the commenter on the Spectrum blog, a person who accepts what a reporter says as simply truth and accepting the report is research.
What someone actually heard and knows by context becomes of less importance then what someone at a supposed news organization says. Of all the material below that I have transcribed from the Glenn Beck show how many of you would walk away with saying Glenn Beck Compares Campsite of Norway Shooting to 'Hitler Youth'? Does anyone really think that was the main thrust or the overall intent of Glenn Beck's commentary?
The popular media is playing us for fools and far to many people are foolishly laping up distortions and propaganda and worse yet clinging to it as if it were truth.
Transcript from the Glenn Beck show Monday July 25 2011
At the opening of the second hour show of his show Glenn Beck said (underlined part used in ChristianPost article):

So Saturday I was uhh following the news of the shooting in Norway and the explosion which happened what on Friday? ( Pat: yes the explosion was and then we left the air and then he went to you know the camp) When we heard the explosion everybody was willing to say it was muslim extremists its muslim extremists, I don't think we made a comment on it because we didn't know other then there was a bombing that happened. And as the thing started to unfold and then there was a shooting at a political camp which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth or whatever I mean who does a camp for kids that is all about politics, disturbing. But anyways so there is this political camp and some crazy man goes and starts shooting kids. I get up Saturday morning and I write to Scott Baker at the Blaze and I said I haven't seen this yet anywhere and I can tell you exactly what's going on and somebody just needs to follow the story. And what is going on is exactly what I said would happen I warned that this would happen last fall. Can we find and see if we can find the audio of me saying it, it's actually a kind of famous monologue because I made a ah complex theory and you make one error in it and it sounds like you are blaming it or agreeing with or whatever. It's the monologue where I spoke about Geert Wilders I think I only spoke about Geert Wilders on Fox one time, I think I had Geert Wilders on CNN Headline news its just the clips of all the things they are saying. I think he went as far to say that Islam is evil which I don't believe that Islam is evil I believe Islam the way it is being practiced by 
Ahmadinejad and millions of people around the world that believe in the same things that
Ahmadinejad believes in that's evil. Absolutely 100% that's evil, but there are a lot of good Muslims as well they need to be strenghened and the way to strenghten them is to say, this kind of understanding of Islam is evil period and strenghten the ones that say thats not what we want to do we don't want to kill our daughters in honor killings we don't want to stone people to death, we don't want our husbands to have you know what is it hourly marriages, we like to call it prostitution here in the United states that Sharia law does not have a place in todays world period... [more on Europe going into financial trouble and trouble with radical Islam and multiculturalism for the rest of the half hour]

The second half our of the second hour of the show begins:

You know we were just talking in the break about how devastating, how devastating this news in Oslo is 93 dead, mainly children now one thing that you have to umm take into account is in Norway at least on this island no one had a firearm no one this guy walked onto this island with a firearm no one else had one. No one could stop him no one had one. Remember when I said a couple of weeks ago the police cannot prevent a crime they can only come and investigate what happened. Occasionally if they happen to be there yes that's why in Newark New Jersey they are saying if you own a Pizza shop and you want to be open after 9 o'clock you have to hire a policeman an armed guard to be able to have your business open because that way somebody can protect you. Excuse me, I have a right to protect myself, nobody had a firearm nobody could stop this mad man and 93 people later he stopped. It takes the police, how long did it take them 90 minutes (Stu: yea 90 minutes to respond) 90 minutes this was going on people where these kids were swimming across the lake trying to get help, neighbors were coming and getting in their boats and coming and rowing across the water to be able to grab these kids out. This guy was an absolute and total monster a monster you know as much as you, maybe it is just me I would never send my kids to a Republican summer camp. Never in a million years would I send my kids to a Republican party summer camp what are you nuts? That's what this thing was a labor party summer camp I don't know why you would send your kids to that. I see that as, you know my problem with the Nazi youth is that was a Party the Nazi's were the National Socialists Party is Europe not going to learn stop with the Parties, stop indoctrinating you kids with the Parties. But as much as I don't want to send my kids to a a Labor Party or a Republican Party or an Obama summer camp whatever it is I am not going to send my kids there. But can you imagine the monster that it takes to say, you know the best way to stop this is to kill all the children. Monster total and complete, monster, so don't listen to anyone who says that first left and right is different in Europe remember that, they had kings... [Explains the difference between left and right in America vs. Europe. Communist left and Fascist right while America it is Communist left and no government right]

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