Monday, April 11, 2016

A hint for CBS News

Web site elves at CBS News appear to be deaf to irony.

Each of the following screenshots was taken today:

Just below the video window under the Watch Now site banner asking the question about how terrorists are "able to hide in plain sight" was this howler of a story:

Short answer to the question in that headline: None. That's a stupid "blame the victim" question, and a failed attempt to relieve terrorists of moral culpability for their actions. It would make as much sense to imply that sunspot activity plays a role in terrorism. I hope the investigative team figured at least that much out, although I have my doubts.

Fortunately, some readers did not miss the irony that CBS employees did:

"Jimbob" is exactly right.

To tie a ribbon around the bias for which old-line mass media outlets in the United States are notorious: As some of the reporting after the San Bernardino shootings of December 2, 2015 made clear, terrorists are able to "hide in plain sight" wherever the dominant cultural narrative shames their potential victims into silence by accusing those potential victims of bigotry, racism, or, yes, "Islamophobia." 

It also helps to have a through-the-looking-glass notion of victimhood, as so many in the media do. Bookworm explains that at her blog, while David Harsanyi has some related thoughts.

Amusingly, the media does not even try for consistency. Screenshots in this post were prompted by "analysis" of the terrorist attacks in Belgium, but the false compassion and Potemkin investigation inherent in a search for something other than warped ideology that might plausibly provoke the murder of innocents does not square with what we were told about the husband-and-wife San Bernardino terrorists four months earlier. Those two were not lashing out in response to other people's Islamophobia, according to reports at the time. They were allegedly "self-radicalized." Homeland Security spokespeople apparently hoped that the rest of us would accept that finding as a reassuring alternative to being radicalized by others, but why it ought to be reassuring was never explained. Perhaps the people pushing that theory hoped that the rest of us would accept self-radicalization as a "one off" peculiar to the San Bernardino shooters and a handful of extremists like them.

Sadly, nobody in mainstream media seems to read Eric Hoffer anymore, or ask why Islam lends itself to "radicalization" with such discomfiting ease.

A phobia, as you probably know, is an irrational fear. But the dignity once ascribed to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is not in play here. Even the much-misused term "homophobia" has a better record than "Islamophobia," which is a fake medical term of art (rhetorical cudgel, really) used by the progressive movement to explain its own failure to heed dissent from or by people whom they dismiss as narrow-minded mono-cultural "cisnormatives" (Because they are acutely sensitive to "thoughtcrime," leftists always play the long game starting with vocabulary, as witness words like "microagression" and "cisgender." When the Left cannot yet appropriate a word in common use, it makes one up instead).

UPDATE: Accepting the premise that Islamophobia might help provoke Islamist terrorist attacks does Islam no favors, either, because it reeks of condescension. If irrational fear of Methodists made Methodists violent, for example, then it would be fair to ask whether something was askew in the lives of John and Charles Wesley, who founded Methodism as a movement within the Church of England. Yet people are scorned or worse for trying to apply any scrutiny to the founder of Islam.

Monday, April 4, 2016

If you remember Bored of the Rings

The early Seventies parody of the Lord of the Rings by writers from the Harvard Lampoon has at least one fun scene applicable to current events:

As Goodgulf stepped onto the bridge the passage echoed with an ominous dribble, dribble, and a great crowd of narcs burst forth. In their midst was a towering dark shadow too terrible to describe. In its hand it held a huge black globe and on its chest was written in cruel runes, "Villanova." 

"Aiyee," shouted Legolam. "A ballhog!" 

Goodgulf turned to face the dread shadow, and as he did, it slowly circled toward the bridge, bouncing the grim sphere as it came. The Wizard reeled back and, clutching at the ropes, raised his wand. "Back, vile hoopster," he cried. 

At this the ballhog strode forward onto the bridge, and stepping back, the wizard drew himself up to his full height and said, "Avaunt, thin-clad one!" 

Arrowroot waved Krona. "He cannot hold the bridge," he shouted and rushed forward. 

"E pluribus unum," cried Bromosel and leaped after him. 

"Esso extra," said Legolam, jumping behind him. 

"Kaiser Frazer," shouted Gimlet, running up to join them. 

The ballhog sprang forward, and raising the dread globe over his head, uttered a triumphant cry. 

"Dulce et decorum," said Bromosel, hacking at the bridge. 

"Above and beyond," said Arrowroot, chopping a support. 

"A far, far better thing," said Legolam, slicing through the walkway. 

"Nearer my God to thee," hummed Gimlet, cutting the last stay with a quick ax stroke.