Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reading Materials

I composed this as e-mail to my friend Jerry, with the warning that he should expect it to show up here at some point.

He replied, "Blog, hell, you should submit the piece to the National Review."

Nevertheless, here it is. If you're with the National Review, we can discuss reprint rights.

Now, this is interesting: "O'Reilly, Savage, Hannity on accused church shooter's reading list" (see below), the gist of which is that the guy who shot up a UUC children's program in Tennessee had in his personal library such classics as "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder by radio talk show host Michael Savage, Let Freedom Ring by talk show host Sean Hannity, and The O'Reilly Factor, by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly."

    Adkisson targeted the church, Still [Bad editing on the part of TRS: "Still" is a Knoxville cop who is never ID'd in the story] wrote in the document obtained by WBIR-TV, Channel 10, "because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets."

[The complete article is here]

Now, I put it to you this way: From time to time, you may have noticed, our right-wingnut friends will get all frothy on the subject of pornography (which they know when they see it). Despite any number of studies which might cause thinking people to question the existence of any causal link between the consumption of pornography and the commission of crimes, sexual or otherwise (and indeed I've read of studies that seem to indicate such misdeeds occur in greater frequency at times and in places where pornography has been tightly censored), our right-wingnut chums know--with that deep and unshakable and frighteningly single-mindedness which only they can master--that pornography will compel its consumer to act out that which he sees on the page or the screen.

After all, they will and have argued, there is agreement that people are positively influenced by "good" material like the Bible and other inspirational or motivational works. It is, then, only logical that they would be negatively influenced by "bad" material.

(I know plenty of people who have vast libraries of "Christian" books, CDs, DVDs, and bumper-stickers and who are, in practice, shits, which tends to belie the idea that reading/viewing/listening = behavior, but let's leave that for another time.)

So if we accept the "logic" expressed by the right-wingnuts who are on the prowl for every opportunity to scuttle the First Amendment, then we have to conclude that the works of Savage, Hannity, O'Reilly, et al., must be suppressed!

They are, after all, slanderous hatemongering tracts, which have, demonstrably, incited violence.

This sort of mentality--"they" are all bad; "they" are responsible for everything that has gone wrong; "they" are ruining "our" country; it's "us" against "them"--sounds dangerously familiar, does it not? Just replace the word liberals with the word Jews.

We would not, as a society, tolerate the mass production of books, television programs, radio broadcasts, and websites that suggest that Jews are responsible for everything bad in the world, Judaism is a mental disorder, Jews are godless sub-humans who need to be wiped out by any means. (Such things exist in the shadows, of course, but not on the bestseller lists.) Why would we not so tolerate? Because of the fear that such incendiary hatemongering might lead the mentally imbalanced to conclude that they must "do something"--burn something, blow something up, kill someone--in order to "solve" the "problem."

Well, golly...look what's happened in Tennessee.

The phrase "accessories before the fact" keeps percolating to mind...

Look for this to show up on the blog sooner or later...

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