Monday, March 21

"Culture of Life"

Okay, I was taking a quick lunch break and just for the hell of it turned on CNN. Missed the top of the hour so I had to wait as they cycled through Jessica Lunsford and Michael Jackson to get back to Terri Schiavo. These three stories are our national news, folks.

The only bit of humanity that poked through in this grim and grubby spectacle was provided by, well, humanity, as the CNN online poll went 78% for The Husband to make the decision, and 92% for the proposition that the case had been "too politicized". The report closes, of course, with the standard disclaimer that the results "aren't scientific". It's just too bad their news reports don't close with a warning that what we've just witnessed is not professional journalism.

I was also treated to a sidebar story about how "Culture of Life" has become a buzzword for the campaign to raise funds from abortion opponents to fight everything from stem cell research to teaching evolution. CNN didn't actually mention evolution, but Peter Slevin's WaPo story on "Intelligent Design" sure did. In keeping with standard practice since at least 1979, the right doesn't have to face any difficult questions, either about tricky ethical issues or its own lapses and omissions. Pharmacists refusing to fill birth-control prescriptions? That's a matter for the states, apparently. "Opposition" here means "speculating about what Democrats are going to do."

My own advice is free, as usual. Democrats should find a plain-spoken champion for the idea of the rule of law, for the responsibility to govern as opposed to the authority to grandstand. You can't fight a war of soundbites, particularly when the field isn't level to begin with. With Republican majorities everywhere you turn, when do they begin to offer solutions instead of demagogy?


Anonymous said...

Nice one, Riley. Thinking is hard work, as we discovered when emerging from the dark ages. Since you're a film fan, have you seen the wonderful "The Advocate"?

Elsewise, I'm tempted to suggest that each newspaper article come with the same declaimer as the astrology column-- "for entertainment purposes only."

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

I haven't seen "The Advocate", Chris and I thank you for the recommendation. It's past time for me to sign up with Facets Video.