Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Agree With A Los Angeles Times Media Critic

I know. I'm as shocked as my regular readers should be. But Tim Rutten, in only the second time I've ever agreed with him on anything, excoriates the Western media editorial pages for not defending Salman Rushdie's knighthood. I actually can't remember what the first thing was which I agreed with him, so traumatic that was, but I believe it was the blasé attitude most papers have in covering the 9/11 truther movement and not tamping down those little sparks of conspiracy theories. Defenders of truth and public record, right? Today, though, Tim Rutten writes about his amazement at the lack of coverage of radical muslims, and how he had to find statements decrying renewed calls for fatwas against Rushdie online, even having to quote the right-leaning Pajamas Media. Not only that, Rutten diagnoses exactly what is wrong with most newsrooms today:

What masquerades as tolerance and cultural sensitivity among many U.S. journalists is really a kind of soft bigotry, an unspoken assumption that Muslim societies will naturally repress great writers and murder honest journalists, and that to insist otherwise is somehow intolerant or insensitive.

Lost in the self-righteous haze that masks this expedient sentiment is a critical point once made by the late American philosopher Richard Rorty, who was fond of pointing out that "some ideas, like some people, are just no damn good" and that no amount of faux tolerance or misplaced fellow feeling excuses the rest of us from our obligation to oppose such ideas and such people.

Some ideas are just no damn good. Political correctness, cultural diversity, sensitivity training, tolerance, multiculturalism, and most post-modern schools of literary thought would have you believe otherwise, but the truth remains: Some ideas are just no damn good, and we should not be afraid to say so.

Update: Welcome Instapundit readers to my little spot in the blogosphere. Have a look around and thanks for visiting!


  1. I did wander around - and liked it. I keep a rather lengthy bookmark list under the title "proofs" (a better name would have been "evidence"). Your comments led me on to two new onces to mark - thank you.

    Glenn's comment on your quote is so sadly true: the media energy seems to go into defeating the real enemy, Bush. I remain undecided whether that is the psychological defense mechanism of displacement or whether that is a tribal competitiveness because Bush belongs more to the Business Tribe and the Science and Technology Tribe than he does to the Arts & Humanities Tribe which resents him so. If you like that sort of discussion, drop by and visit over among the psych bloggers, of which I am but a minor member. Dr. Sanity and neo-neocon would be more recognizable sites.

  2. Joe! Great post, again.

    Congrats on the Instalanche - you da man.

    Woot, Woot, Woot!

  3. Joe -

    I, too, am shocked to find myself agreeing with Rutten.

    Congrats on the Instalanche; I must have just missed his link to you earlier this evening.

  4. Rutten's comments are a break in solidarity with his ideological friends on this issue, but not a complete break.It is normal to allow small acts of cowardice to be seduced away from our memories to fashion ourselves a better self-conceit.
    Rutten and his friends are afraid. They are confident in painting Christians, of which I am not one, into bogeyman terms, but the truth is they know the bogeyman will never come for them.
    They don't think that of Islamists.
    The Europeans are in a more advanced state of cowardice for obviious reasons, but our leftists routinely adore and ape their leftists.
    Fear and loathing--of themselves. But the vanity, well that is to precious to be touched.