As close to bigotry as you’ll see in the mainstream press: The hacks and the haters are really putting dead children to use this week.
On Monday evening, Rachel Maddow used the dead children of Birmingham Sunday to help us see—well, to help us see what? That we aren’t supposed to support that new immigration law? (To review Maddow's work, click here.)
This morning, Maureen Dowd plays a similar card. At the top of her New York Times column, Dowd attracts a bit of attention with the following headline:
“Anne Frank, a Mormon?”
Dowd has been a fool for years. Beyond that, she’s long been a visible crackpot. Her presence at the top of American “journalism” is one of the most remarkable facts about modern American culture.
The liberal world has tolerated her status. This tells us all we need to know about the liberal world’s status as an imitation of life.
Dowd has long been a visible nut. But this morning, she goes to a new, dimmer place. It’s hard to define the point of her column, other than to say that it comes very close to being the work of a bigot.
As bigots and near-bigots typically do, Dowd believes that she's providing a brave and valuable service. As she starts, she tells us she’ll be saying the things her colleagues won’t go near:
DOWD (10/19/11): At an appearance at George Washington University here Saturday night, Bill Maher bounded into territory that the news media have been gingerly tiptoeing around.The press corps’ tiptoeing-around stops here! Dowd will be discussing Mormonism in her daring column! That will include the underwear and—of course, this being Dowd—the polygamy.
Magic underwear. Baptizing dead people. Celestial marriages. Private planets. Racism. Polygamy.
“By any standard, Mormonism is more ridiculous than any other religion,” asserted the famously nonbelieving comic who skewered the “fairy tales” of several faiths in his documentary “Religulous.” “It’s a religion founded on the idea of polygamy. They call it The Principle. That sounds like The Prime Directive in ‘Star Trek.’ ”
That said, the religion abandoned polygamy in 1890, a point Dowd never quite remembers to make. But then, this is the press corps’ most visible crackpot, the Rosetta Stone of modern America’s intellectual breakdown.
Dowd starts out by repeatedly quoting a comic, perhaps forgetting that she herself is supposed to be a journalist. Of course, Dowd isn’t a competent journalist. Consider the evidence she seems to cite in support of an early assertion:
DOWD: Maher was not easy on the religion he was raised in either. He referred to the Roman Catholic Church as “an international child sex ring.”According to Dowd, Catholics and evangelicals “seem especially wary of Mormons.” For her apparent evidence, she cites a fact from that recent Post-Pew survey.
But atheists, like Catholics and evangelical Christians, seem especially wary of Mormons, dubbed the “ultimate shape-shifters” by Maher.
In a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll released on Tuesday, people were asked what single word came to mind for Republican candidates. For Herman Cain it was 9-9-9; for Rick Perry, Texas; and for Mitt Romney, Mormon. In the debate Tuesday night, Romney said it was repugnant that “we should choose people based on their religion.”
According to Dowd, “people” were asked what single word came to mind for different Republican candidates. “For Romney...it was Mormon,” Dowd says.
But alas! If you look at the actual Post-Pew survey, you’ll see the kind of pseudo-evidence on which this visible crackpot feeds. In fact, the Post-Pew survey asked 1007 “people” to give a single word for Romney. Exactly sixty (60) of these people volunteered the word “Mormon.”
That’s right: Slightly fewer than six percent of respondents said the word “Mormon” when asked about Mitt! But in the world of this blowsy old drunk, this is cited as (apparent) evidence that “atheists, like Catholics and evangelical Christians, seem especially wary of Mormons.”
(We say “apparent” because here, as in everything Dowd ever writes, the lady implies a logical link which she doesn’t actually state.)
Your “press corps” has functioned this way for decades, with very few words of complaint from the career liberal world. A modern nation simply can’t function with pseudos like this in charge. This includes pseudos like Dowd herself—and pseudos like her enabler colleagues, who aren’t a whole lot smarter or saner than this big drunk is herself.
As Dowd continues, she bravely “bounds into territory that the news media have been gingerly tiptoeing around.” Soon, she’s making use of Anne Frank. At great length, she discusses a peculiar Mormon practice which was abandoned in 1995—without offering any evidence about Romney’s view of the former practice.
And of course, there is more—so much more. First example:
Dowd cherry-picks an incident from Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s recent profile of Romney’s time as a Mormon leader—a profile which is largely favorable, until Dowd starts picking her fruit.
In this instance, Dowd doesn’t just cherry-pick the single incident she wants to discuss. She also offers a cherry-picked version of Stolberg’s account of the incident! But with modern practitioners like Dowd, if it weren’t for cherry-picked accounts, there would be no accounts at all. Everything you read from Dowd is likely to be pure garbage.
What’s the point of Dowd’s venture into the land around which her colleagues have tiptoed? She never quite states the point of her mission, but it’s fairly clear that this is an assault on Mormons in general—and on Candidate Romney in particular. In the last large chunk of her column, she describes various aspects of the Mormon faith, making no attempt to explain the relevance to Romney’s candidacy. She discusses an aspect of “Mormon lore,” failing to clarify whether the belief in question is, or isn’t, a part of the faith. She discusses what Mormons think about Jesus; she discusses what Mormons think about heaven. And of course, she returns to the “magic underwear,” devoting several paragraphs to that requisite topic.
Lying face-down on Jack’s favorite shag, she closes her daring column with this defiant statement:
“Republicans are the ones who have made faith part of the presidential test. Now we’ll see if Mitt can pass it.”
Although nothing is ever clear in Dowd’s work, this may be a reference to pastor Robert Jeffress, a Perry-supporter whom Dowd had cited earlier in her column. Inside Dowd’s disordered mind, the “logic” may proceed like this: Republicans like Jeffress have made religious faith part of the test. So somehow, that means that journalists should proceed to push the matter further.
Or something. Dowd rarely makes her “thinking” clear—and her “editors” always accept this.
Dowd’s column today is a troubling document. Let’s understand why that’s so. Then, let’s advance the Maddow Challenge.
Dowd’s column comes very close to being an act of pure bigotry. She keeps savaging Romney's religion, without making any attempt to explain the relevance to his candidacy. When Jeffress said that he would prefer an evangelical Christian candidate to a Mormon, he repeatedly praised Romney as a “good, moral person;” he said he would vote for Romney in a race against Obama. “I believe Mormons are good people,” he further said. Jeffress never quite explained why he would prefer a competent Christian to a competent non-Christian, but that was largely because interviewers like Chris Matthews were too dumb to ask.
Dowd offers no such niceties. She has nothing good to say for Romney, nothing good to say about Mormons or about Mormonism. She makes no attempt to explain the relevance of her attacks on Romney’s religion. Her column comes about as close to textbook bigotry as work ever does in the mainstream press. It’s rather plain that she doesn’t like Mormons. She just doesn’t like Romney’s kind.
This raises a question about Maddow.
Jeffress was quite polite in what he said about Romney. Repeatedly, he praised Romney’s character. He said he would vote for Romney in a general election.
But so what? On her eponymous cable program, Maddow confidently denounced Jeffress’ conduct as “bigotry.” This raises the Maddow Challenge:
Will Maddow say the same thing about Maureen Dowd tonight?
Almost surely, she will not. You see, Jeffress belongs to the other tribe; he’s a southern white conservative. Maddow’s ministry is all about teaching you to dislike such people. So it was when she used the dead children on her program this past Monday night.
By way of contrast, Dowd is a major player inside the upper-end “press corps,” the careerist bubble within which Maddow pockets $2 million per year. Rather relentlessly, Maddow kisses the keisters of such ranking players.
Dowd’s column really does approach bigotry. Tune in tonight to see if Maddow lets a deranged colleague slide. You’ll learn about the ways of the tribe—and about the death of your nation’s intellectual culture.
Maureen Dowd is one of the world’s most disordered people. But she sits at the top of your nation’s “press corps!” In the grip of this disorder, a modern nation simply can’t expect to survive.
About that Post/Pew “one-word” question: In fairness to Dowd, many players have stumbled over the useless question Pew asks as part of its candidate surveys.
Pew asks respondents to state the first word that comes into their head when a candidate’s name is mentioned. Then, Pew posts a chart of the responses. People routinely think the chart is showing percentages, even though Pew always includes a note saying that it doesn’t.
What’s wrong with this survey question? Few respondents say the same words about particular candidates. For that reason, this survey question rarely produces useful data—and it constantly produces confusion. Even a very smart person like Kevin Drum misunderstood the nature of this question in 2008. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/2/08.
When it comes to Pew's "one-word" question, the confusion and foolishness never end. For a ridiculous assessment of the new “one-word” results, just click here. Regarding Cain, 25 respondents said the word “business;” 24 respondents said “9-9-9.” And yes, that was 25 respondents out of more than a thousand!
To see an NPR analyst try to figure out what that means, go ahead—click that link.
Dowd of course was just pimping her junk when she cited the one-word reaction to Romney—when she gave readers the false impression that everybody shouted out “Mormon!” when they were asked about Mitt.
Dowd’s work doesn’t run on data. Dowd’s work runs on mental disorder—has done for many long years.