Monday, March 3

I've Known Some Great Whores. You're Not A Great Whore.

OH yeah. New Fucking Media.

Same old fucking campaign.

John Hagee's a whackjob. (Full disclosure: as a semi-curious observer of that milieu, in my opinion he's also the most dynamic preacher on television, by roughly the same margin as Secretariat's in the Belmont. But then I'm not particularly swayed by stage presence.) 

This does not make Bill Donohue a source.

John Hagee's got a teevee program, a web site, God knows how many books, and enough video on YouTube to make Ann Althouse an expert on his theology without learning his first name. So maybe people could quote him instead of quoting Donohue not quoting him. Glenn Greenwald found some, and borrowed some others, but when it came time to defend the anti-Catholic Bigot charge he went straight to Donohue. In fact, none of the Papist-bashing appeared before Mr. Anal-Sex Loving Jews Run Hollywood opened his self-righteous yap. By the end of the piece Greenwald is marveling at the strange bedfellows he finds himself playing pup tent with. As well he should.

Meanwhile, Jane Hamsher, Josh Marshall, any number of Kosacks, and other major theologians take to employing the two-word quote technique: John Hagee, the man who called the Catholic church (alternately, Catholics) the "great whore". (As always, we're indebted to Bob Somerby for quantifying this. Run, do not walk, from the Two-Word Quote!)

Okay, back up a minute. The TWQ should be avoided, except in cases where the underlying speech is clearly understood by all; but failure to capitalize "Great Whore" as Marshall does, is dishonest and illiterate. Hagee may be a lot of things, but "unfamiliar with the Revelation to John" isn't one of them, and whatever he's doing with that junior-high graphic it isn't praising Catholicism's price-to-oral talent ratio.  At least not saliently.  

Look, did you like this sort of thing when Donohue (and a bully of Bishops) slimed John Kerry? No? Then don't quote 'em now just because the shoe's on the Fisherman's other foot. In the last national election portions of the Catholic hierarchy attempted to use Holy Communion as a cudgel for steering the Flock into the Bush fold, based on narrowly selected issues (abortion, gay marriage, just in case you've forgotten) which ignored the fact that Kerry was under no religious compunction to insert that or any other Catholic teaching into US law. This, to me, was insulting to all Americans, not that they all saw it that way. What, exactly, is Bill Donohue's personal affront that some Texan legalized beggar doesn't like Catholics compared to that?

So, please...use Hagee's own words (not Donohue's parse) to hang him; use McCain's to hang him, too. And hang Timmy Russert the highest of all. But there's no call to help Wild Bill spread his toxins cross country. Hagee's apocalyptic hatefulness isn't a tin can to be tied to the Republican party's tail. It is the Republican party. Or what's left of it.

1 comment:

D. Sidhe said...

Thank you. No, really. "Even a stopped clock" is a reason to chuckle ruefully at the intersection of cosmic coincidence and some moron's consistent poor judgment, not to agree with the moron at such length that his or her reputation is rehabilitated.

But even beyond that, as you point out, this is what's wrong with journalism. If a moron in the public sphere is given to moronic statements, and if the moronic statements are news, you quote the statements. You don't ignore them until some other moron can be quoted on the subject of the first moron. Doing so means either it was never news in the first place, or you're not much of a reporter in the first place. Ditto the tendency to report on things once someone starts whining loud enough.