Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The politics of emotionalism

In my previous two articles (not counting the fun one on American Pie lyrics) I have pointed out the deceptive practices of the political left in relation to the Adventist publications. Those two listed being Adventist Today and Liberty Magazine. I could and should include Spectrum Magazine (see this pathetic example) in this list as well. The troubling thing about this is that it reflects the puerile thinking of the political liberal/progressive who deal little with reality and heavily manipulate emotions. They assume that their listeners or readers are simply too stupid to think for themselves or question what they say, or they think that the reader/listener is just as prejudiced as the author. So they freely interpret usually incorrectly and with so much prejudice that their interpretations look more like arbitrary hatred then real analytical thought.

Since these gatekeepers of Adventist media have chosen to align with the political left and to use the same techniques of the left it becomes important for this blog to begin to deal with these political distortions. In the past this blog has rarely gone into political matters but it seems that they are too important to ignore since they infiltrate the church and it's leadership...even its alternative Adventist media leadership (in my opinion they have destroyed the Progressive Adventist movement).

As a particular example of the emotional manipulation of the political left here is a section from the Martin Bashir show on MSNBC as recounted by the Huffington Post:
MSNBC's Martin Bashir issued some extremely harsh words for Rick Santorum on Tuesday, comparing the GOP candidate to Joseph Stalin and Big Brother from the novel "1984." 
In his "Clear the Air" segment, Bashir said that watching Santorum speak before a crowd reminded him of the dictator in "1984," the classic novel about a totalitarian society under state surveillance. Bashir instructed viewers to "spot the similarities" between a clip of Santorum speaking, and footage from the movie based on the novel. 
He replayed clips from the film of "1984" featuring Big Brother proclaiming that "forces of darkness" must be wiped off the Earth and demanding the end of a "catalogue of bestial atrocities." Bashir contrasted them with Santorum's calls to end federal funding for contraception, among other things. "For example, he has asserted that the right to privacy does not exist and has equated same sex relationships with bestiality," Bashir added.
He then made his most severe comparison. He quoted a book reviewer who once dismissed Santorum as "one of the finest minds of the 13th century," and took the remark one step further. "If you listen carefully to Rick Santorum, he sounds more like Stalin than Pope Innocent III," Bashir said.  
You can also see the video of the segment on the Huffington Post site linked above. The similarities between Santorum and the movie 1984 is that the crowd cheers. They cheer in the movie they cheer for Santorum at a speech. Apparently Bashir has never seen any other political speeches or crowds, though you would think with the cheering and chants and fainting that occurred during Barack Obama's campaign he would have seen it at some point. He then says Santorum sounds like a theocrat and the then concludes that Santorum sounds more like Stalin then a Pope. Stalin a rather famous atheist and now I guess a theocrat at least to Bashir.

But what does Bashir report about Santorum? What quotes does he use of Santorum? Answer, none, like the authors referred to in my two previous blogs, no quotes are used, no references given, we are left to accept his interpretation of what someone said, though to Bashir's credit unlike the two previous authors mentioned Bashir at least tells us who he is interpreting, not just giving hints about some candidate running for President. Bashir could have quoted Santorum but he must have felt it was more important to play clips from the movie “1984”. That is emotionalism, and it is childish because it assumes foolish things and simplify complex issues into trite sayings. Is that something that the courts have defined or you can find in the constitution? If I do something in private does that mean I can do anything I want in private? How would you define the right to privacy? You will understand better once you actually see the quote from which Bashir is referring. Then of course you see that it is not as Bashir interprets and that Santorum does not equate homosexuality with Bestiality. Even though they could both be done in private.

AP: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?
SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.

Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —
AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

SANTORUM: And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society.

AP: Sorry, I just never expected to talk about that when I came over here to interview you. Would a President Santorum eliminate a right to privacy — you don't agree with it?

SANTORUM: I've been very clear about that. The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don't agree with that. So I would make the argument that with President, or Senator or Congressman or whoever Santorum, I would put it back to where it is, the democratic process. If New York doesn't want sodomy laws, if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in.
Now you may not agree with Santorum's reasoning but at least he is reasoning and not simply trying to manipulate with emotionalism. We can't really allow this kind of journalism or whatever people like Bashir call themselves to continue as it is extremely harmful to thinking people. And even produces a lowering of standards for other media. Of course few people watch MSNBC but Bashir's practices are done just as often in the mainline media and now even in Church media. Maybe not as ham handed as Bashir does on his show but the appeal to emotionalism over honestly dealing with the facts and representing someone else's point of view accurately is all too common.

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