Part 3—Salon sells tribal hatred: At highly tribal times, we the humans are strongly inclined toward tribal hatred.
Among us the liberals, the new Salon is actively involved in selling this righteous old brew. Consider what readers are being told about what Rudy said.
At the new, deeply tribal Salon, young Luke Brinker’s latest report appears beneath these exciting tribal headlines:
Conservatives’ sick reaction to NYPD officer killings: Blame Obama and de BlasioWhat “sick reactions” does Salon have in mind? And who is blaming Obama and de Blasio for these recent killings?
Right-wingers politicize deaths of two officers to condemn liberals and protesters against police brutality
At the start of his report, young Brinker tells propagandized readers what Giuliani said. A large photo of Giuliani sits atop the report:
BRINKER (12/21/14): Conservatives seized on the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers on Saturday to attack President Obama, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and other figures who have spoken out on the fraught relationship between police and minority communities, with some going so far as to blame them for the killings of the two officers.Just for the record, the excited young Brinker didn’t seem to know which program he was discussing. In fact, Giuliani didn’t appear on yesterday morning’s Fox News Sunday. In fact, the young reporter was quoting from an appearance by Giuliani on Sunday’s Fox and Friends.
The two officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot at point-blank range in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. The suspect, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then killed himself. Brinsley, who had threatened to kill police officers on social media in response to the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, had traveled to New York from Baltimore, where authorities believe he also shot his ex-girlfriend.
Merely by voicing concerns about police treatment of black men like Garner and Brown, many conservatives asserted, figures like Obama, de Blasio, and Attorney General Eric Holder encouraged vigilantism against law enforcement. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” this morning, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “They have created an atmosphere of severe, strong, anti-police hatred in certain communities. For that, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
For ourselves, we aren’t fans of Giuliani. But did Giuliani “go so far as to blame [Obama and de Blasio] for the killings of the two officers?”
A reader could certainly get that impression from the quotation Brinker provided. But here’s another statement from that same TV show, a statement the fiery young Salon reporter omitted:
GIULIANI: (12/21/14): I feel bad for the mayor. I think the mayor must be heartbroken over the loss of these police officers. I can’t believe this is what he wanted. I don’t think he’s a bad man in any way. I think he’s a man who pursues the wrong policies.To watch the full segment (from Fox and Friends), just click here. You’ll see the statement Brinker quoted—and the statements he left out.
Did Giuliani blame de Blasio for the killings of the two officers? In two appearances on Fox and Friends, he explicitly rejected the statement to that effect by police union spokesman Pat Lynch:
GIULIANI: I admire Pat Lynch very, very much. I think he’s a great union leader and I consider him a good friend. I think it goes too far to blame the mayor for the murders or to call for the mayor’s resignation.In an earlier segment on Fox and Friends, Giuliani voiced the same judgment, specifically noting that other police officers have been killed under other mayors. To watch that earlier segment, click here.
At Salon, readers were told about the one remark by Giuliani. They weren’t told about the other statements—and Brinker didn’t even seem to know what program he was quoting. Had he actually watched these segments? Or did he simply take his cues and his information from this report at Think Progress, the report to which he linked?
These are difficult times. At times like these, the tribal mind will be strongly inclined to pump out the tribal perspectives.
As an inevitable part of this process, the tribal mind will want you to hate. The younger they are, the more easily they seem to fall into this well.
Reading the lazy work by young Brinker, we thought of one of our favorite literary passages. In The Iliad, the headstrong young Diomedes challenges Agamemnon, king of men, during a tribal council.
Diomedes has offered some lousy advice. Noble Nestor, the seasoned charioteer, quickly rises to offer good counsel:
HOMER: And all the Achaeans shouted their assent,The sage old driver advised all the Argives: "Tonight's the night that rips our ranks to shreds or pulls us through.”
stirred by the stallion-breaking Diomedes' challenge.
But Nestor the old driver rose and spoke at once.
"Few can match your power in battle, Diomedes,
and in council you excel all men your age
But you don't press on and reach a useful end.
How young you are—why, you could be my son,
my youngest-born at that, though you urge our kings
with cool clear sense: what you've said is right.
But it's my turn now, Diomedes.
I think I can claim to have some years on you.
So I must speak up and drive the matter home.
And no one will heap contempt on what I say,
not even mighty Agamemnon. Lost to the clan,
lost to the hearth, lost to the old ways, that one
who lusts for the horror of war with his own people.
At the new Salon and in other locations, we liberals are being sold the world’s oldest and easiest product. We’re being told to hate the other tribe.
It isn’t a smart thing to do.
Giuliani has said some things we ourselves don’t agree with. But alas! Wanting to stir your tribal fury, headstrong youngsters like Brinker will only show you some of the things Giuliani and others have said.
We strongly advise you to turn these true believers aside. Tomorrow, we’ll explain the title of this series, a series which basically died in the crib.
Why did we call it “the empathy files?” Tomorrow, we ask you a basic question:
How far does your empathy spread? With how many groups can you empathize?