Saturday, September 29, 2007

Truth Matters

A left-wing blog called Media Matters recently provided us with a vivid illustration of Churchill's aphorism that a lie gets half-way around the world before truth can get its pants on. Media Matters ran a smear of Bill O'Reilly that was so dishonest it should have been criminal. Nevertheless, CNN and NBC picked up the libel and repeated it themselves.

When eventually confronted with the transcripts of what O'Reilly actually said everyone refused to recant. The damage had been done and O'Reilly has been trying hard on his show to recover something of his reputation. Columnist Juan Williams who was a witness to the remarks for which O'Reilly has been vilified recounts what really happened here.

But blood was in the water so this week Media Matters decided they'd shamelessly repeat the same dishonest tactic by completely distorting something Rush Limbaugh said on his radio program. Referring to frauds who claim to be combat veterans with eye-witness experience of war-time atrocities, but who had in fact never been in the military, Limbaugh called them "phony soldiers."

Never mind the context, Media Matters smeared Limbaugh for having called military critics of the war "phonies," and not only MSNBC repeated the slander but several Democrats rose to the floor of the House and the Senate to blast Limbaugh for his appalling lack of patriotism and whatever else they thought they could stick him with.

In a post-modern world where truth is whatever you feel it to be, and all that counts is winning, where peoples' reputations are fair game in the no-rules world of political combat, I guess this sort disreputable behavior is to be expected. Those of us, though, who believe that truth is of paramount importance should maintain a prudent skepticism toward anything we hear on CNN or MSNBC or indeed CBS, after Dan Rather, or The New Republic, after twice having carried columns by fabulists whose claims were subsequently found to be fabricated. These journalists apparently subscribe to the belief that even if you have to retract a claim later no one will notice, and the damage you had hoped for will already be done.

You might wonder how people can be this way. One of the heroes of the secular left, Karl Marx, once stated that the left's view of the world (communism) "abolishes all eternal truths, all religion and all morality." This pretty much explains everything.


Workers of the World Unite!

What do Zimbabwe, Sudan, Burma (Myanmar), North Korea, and Iran all have in common? They are, of course, all murderous regimes (See what's going on in Burma here) which brutally oppress their own people and, in the case of Iran, export terror around the world. In addition, they all share one other thing in common. They are each one a client state of Communist China.

The most pathological, genocidal thugs in the world are all aided and abetted by a state which, since 1950, has been held up to us by our own secular leftists as a model toward which we should ourselves aspire. It's true that they've been rather mute on the point lately, but just as one rarely found criticism of the atrocities of the former Soviet Union in the leftist media so, too, one rarely hears criticism of Communist China, even though it is by far the worst oppressor and abuser (directly and indirectly) of human rights in the world today.

Perhaps I'm wrong and the left-wing blogosphere is actually full of denunciations of their ideological brethren across the Pacific for their support of the Burmese government and others. Perhaps the only reason I haven't seen any of these excoriations is because I haven't been to their blogs lately. Perhaps the secular left really does care about human rights enough to take time out from their fulminations over Guantanamo Bay and the Patriot act to direct their outrage at real tyranny, and I'm just not aware of it. It's possible.

On a related matter, I wonder, as Hugo Chavez arrogates more and more power for himself in Venezuela, if the Venezuelan people aren't just a little bit nervous given the nightmarish record of communist dictatorships in the old U.S.S.R., North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia, and, of course, China.