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Ed Driscoll

‘The Decline of Western Civilization in a Few Paragraphs’

June 23rd, 2014 - 10:59 am

Victor Davis Hanson’s column today, fisking his local paper (the Fresno Bee) and its coverage of a DUI trial, is a must-read. Here’s the beginning of its conclusion, but you really do need to read the whole thing to place it into context:

We live in a deeply diseased society in which we care little about the victim and a great deal about the perpetrators. As the trial continues, we no doubt will soon hear that somehow Mr. Winslow was at fault, that for all the past restrictions and punishments given Ms. Vasquez she did not comply with many if any of them, and that there were probably even more drunk-driving incidents than the four reported. We are also going to hear all sorts of fables of what a good person she really is. Just wait.

In this regard, we are about to witness a legal circus, not a military tribunal, for a terrorist killer and Benghazi architect of the murders of four Americans.

We worry so much about poor Mr. Bergdahl, hardly at all about those lost or maimed trying to find him, or those who were similarly injured or killed trying to arrest the five Taliban killers we freed for Bergdahl, and nothing at all for the thousands that the five have killed or the myriads whom they may well kill again. Thinking of all of them wins us no psychological recompense in the way our cheap sympathy for Bergdahl does.

Ditto poor Lois Lerner, whom some on the left have portrayed as a victim. Not a word about the hundreds of lives made wretched by her imperious witch-hunts and audits.

Not a word about the legal immigrants who cannot enter the U.S., given the illegal aliens who cut in front of their line. We hear so much about the 90,000 children who were sent into the U.S., but nothing about the callousness of their parents, the conniving of their home governments, a deceitful Mexico that facilitated their transit, the Obama administration that vies for their political allegiance, or lots of killers and criminals who will enter the U.S. while the Border Patrol is distracted and busy as a social welfare agency.

Elsewhere in the world of Civilizational Decline, Andrew Klavan spots a serious case of moral relativism infecting the world of leftwing journalism:

Being a professional writer is not a heroic job, but it does have at least one moral requirement:  you mustn’t lie.  If you make your living by writing, it stands to reason there are people who read what you write; you therefore have at least some power to inform, influence, enlighten or persuade. You can be wrong — we’re all wrong sometimes; you can err — everyone does. But to use whatever amount of power you have to deceive intentionally by commission or omission or distortion is wicked; it’s a sin.

So if Katie McDonough, an assistant editor at Salon, finds herself feeling angry all the time, as I very much suspect she does, it’s not because conservative columnist George Will pretended “rape never happens,” because that never happened; it’s not because Will claimed that being a rape victim is a “coveted status,” because Will never did; it’s not because Will feels uncomfortable discussing sexual assault, because he very obviously does not; it’s because she’s ashamed of herself for deceiving her audience by distorting Will’s words, thoughts and intentions, as she very well should be. Shame and self-disgust sometimes make you lash out at other people to keep you from facing what you’ve done yourself.

I don’t know what McDonough thinks about the responsibilities of her craft, but I do know that a fascinating development began sometime in the last couple of decades among journalists on the left: the ability to admit to their public that they’re lying, or that they’ll condone lying in the right circumstances. Just ask the gentlemen on this growing list.

Oh and speaking of Fiskings, they’re on sale today at your local Wal-Mart.

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"a fascinating development began sometime in the last couple of decades among journalists on the left: the ability to admit to their public that they’re lying, or that they’ll condone lying in the right circumstances."

Yes. For most of my life left-leaning journalists have insisted that they are scrupulously honest and care deeply about the news being accurate and complete.

But in the last 15 years or so even the ones I personally know have reversed themselves and now say that they never were objective, that objectivity is a myth, and it's perfectly okay for them to slant the news to suit their ideology.
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