Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Poor

Given that progressives like to drag their Poor around with them to try to smother any views or facts that they disagree with as a recent example here illustrates the Old Press also does the same since they typically agree with progressives. Note that when progressives invoke the Poor and Christianity it is not as if they would actually have the ears to hear principled opposition to their destructive social policies no matter who the messenger. E.g., if a Mother Theresa who has helped thousands of poor people disagrees with progressives on abortion among the poor it is not as if they will agree with her principled position based on her good deeds. They are not disagreeing based on the presence or absence of anyone's good deeds towards the poor at all, despite their mentally retarded arguments based on such associations. They also try to base their arguments on Christianity, yet care about Christianity like a slug trying to eat a garden cares for the salt a gardener sprinkles on it.

Instead they disagree based on their politics, their worldview and their psychological dynamics and not because of what anyone has or has not done for the Poor that Leftists so often use and abuse for political power. Since it is common for progressives to use the Poor for their propaganda while not actually helping them, the same thing shows up in the Old Press. E.g.
How Bill Clinton Cured Homelessness
In the 1980s, I started noticing that the homeless people we showed on the news didn’t look very much like the homeless people I was tripping over on the sidewalk.
The ones on the sidewalk, by and large, were winos or drug addicts or schizophrenics. [...]

But the ones we liked to show on television were different. They looked as if they came from your neighborhood and mine. They looked like us. And the message from TV news was that they didn’t just look like us—they were like us! On NBC, Tom Brokaw said that the home less are “people you know.”

...many of the homeless that Tom and Dan and Peter showed on
the nightly news were sympathetic souls who told stories about how, because of hard times, they were temporarily down on their luck.
White was better than black. Clean was better than dirty. Attractive was better than unattractive. Sane was better than insane. And sober was better than addicted. So when the TV people went looking for just that right kind of homeless face to put on their news programs, they went to people like Robert Hayes, who ran the National Coalition for the Homeless in New York.

In 1989, Hayes told the New York Times that when congressional committees and TV news producers contact him, “they always want white, middle-class people to interview.”

Walter Goodman, who writes about television for the New York Times, came up with a name for what we in the media were doing. He called it the “prettifying of reality.”
More often than not, a news story or documentary on the homeless will feature a hard-working, straight-living young couple or an attractive teenager and her child who have run into a spell of bad luck. The reasons for the choices are not obscure. If you want to arouse sympathy for the homeless, you do not put forward off-putting specimens. Television news producers can count on advocacy groups to supply them with model victims for viewing purposes, people who may even be untouched by the other afflictions discovered in... [a] survey of the homeless: mental illness, AIDS, domestic violence, and lack of education and skills. And why should a producer focus on one of the 50 percent of single homeless people who have served time in jail when he can just as easily find someone without a record?

Whether the intention is to make a more moving show or build support for programs to help the homeless and possibly reassure viewers about having a small shelter in their neighborhood, the result is a prettifying of reality.
But it wasn't enough to simply prettify reality. We also had to exagerate reality if we were really going to gain support and compassion for the homeless.
It’s as if our coverage of this very big story was being directed not by objective journalists but by the advocates for the homeless themselves. We took what they said at face value even though we would never do that with advocates for causes we did not embrace. Can we really imagine Rather, Brokaw, and Jennings simply passing along propaganda from the pro-life lobby? Or the anti—affirmative action crowd? Or the NRA? We would never try to build up sympathy for those causes or their supporters!

But advocates for the homeless misled us about all sorts of things— the number of homeless, who they were, why they were homeless—and because we embraced their cause, because we felt right at home on the homeless beat, we pretty much said, “Hey, no problem,” and passed their misinformation on to the American people.
(Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News
By Bernard Goldberg :63-67)

The Old Press also illustrates the tendency of progressives to try to distort Christianity to support socialism, e.g.:
Some liberal journalists sneer when conservatives speak of their Christian faith because, to them, a true Christian is one who would implement liberal policies.
...there’s National Public Radio (NPR). There’s always NPR; these folks can’t see the point of invoking Jesus unless someone is proposing a radical redistribution of wealth. During the 2000 campaign, reporter Lynn Neary acted as a press agent for the leftist Industrial Areas Foundation, which had assembled religious leaders to announce that faith without statism was “empty piety.” Bishop David Benke of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod declared that if a candidate "is going to lead through a faith statement, then it’d better be a leading through action. That’s authentic piety." Rabbi David Saperstein said of Bush, “How do you invoke that name [Jesus] and still justify the inequities that plague this country? How do you invoke the real name of religion and the words of religion and the dreams of religion and... sit by in good conscience and allow such inequities to continue?”

Needless to say, these comments went unchallenged in the NPR piece.
(Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming
Meltdown of the Liberal Media
By Brent Bozell :106-108)

That's some of the spin in the Old Press that has shaped progressive views, as they tend to believe their own Press. Yet there's also the history that they've forgotten as they typically do while they blindly "progress" on to their next statist boondoggle. In this case, it was progressives who originally opened the asylums based on an exceptions make the rules type of focus on human rights. They will refer to real cases of victimization for their propaganda, as is typical. Yet these are spun into the notion that sensational exceptions used to provoke emotions ought to make all the rules. So the asylums were opened up and here come more vagrants to be freshly redefined as merely "homeless" by progressives, yet they have so little perspective when it comes to historical facts, empirical facts, basic logic, etc., that they cannot engage in an argument on that level and fail to see the failure of their "projects."

[Note, no Poor people were starved as the result of this post.]

No comments: