Special Report

The Media’s Gunsmoke

Its lamentations are empty.

By 12.19.12

Send to Kindle

Eliminating guns is a separate goal from eliminating violence. The media supports the former but opposes the latter. It routinely props up the culture of death, guarding abortion with even more zeal than it condemns gun rights. “We need to have a conversation about the killing of unborn children,” is a line you will never hear from CNN’s Piers Morgan or Soledad O’Brien.

The lamentations of posturing pro-abortion journalists over a coarsened culture don’t count for much. Piers Morgan, when not hectoring the NRA, can usually be seen interviewing actors and directors who have profited off the corruption of children through demented depictions of violence. Will Piers hereby resolve to cancel all bookings of violence-and-gore actors and rappers? Will he ask the guard in front of the CNN building to disarm unilaterally? Will he show the ultrasounds of “precious little” (a favorite phrase of journalists in recent days) unborn children to stay the scalpels of Planned Parenthood doctors?

No, the more commonplace violence of abortion leaves the media untroubled. Journalists scoffed when Mother Teresa appeared at a D.C. prayer breakfast in the 1990s to say that “any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use any violence to get what it wants.”

The media likes to isolate evil, suggesting that it exists only on the margins of society, while ignoring the violence at the center of it. As C.S. Lewis said, violence sanctioned “in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices” poses the greatest risk to civilization. The respectably violent often turn up at the media’s cocktail parties: domestic terrorists from the 1960s, musicians sprung from prison, partial-birth abortionists feted for their “bravery.”

Polite society will even turn children over to them. One of the most influential figures over public education in the last few decades is a radical who tried to blow up buildings, Bill Ayers. “Guilty as hell, free as a bird,” he bragged of his crimes. From his perch as vice president for curriculum of the American Education Research Association, Ayers determined what public school teachers would learn at education schools. Violence in the name of vague resentments -- which is only slightly more intellectualized than the thinking of lunatics recently in the news -- is the chief idea Ayers sought to advance. “I don’t regret setting bombs,” Ayers said. “I feel we didn’t do enough.”

The self-righteous gasping over “unthinkable violence” is a little hard to take from pols who blurb books by Ayers or from pundits who consistently ignore the mass-murdering lunacy of radical Muslims. "If [Adam Lanza] had had an Arab name, people would be going nuts about what we ought to do right now," claimed CBS’s Bob Schieffer. No, it is more likely that journalists would be downplaying it. After the worst shooting on a U.S. military base ever at Fort Hood by an open jihadist, they shrugged. They cautioned against backlash and hasty prescriptions. Obama’s top brass appeared on their shows to fret over the loss of “diversity” stricter policies in light of the shooting might cause.

“We are the only country that regularly experiences horrors of this sort,” harrumphed pundit E.J. Dionne. Never mind the steady stream of stories from abroad in which children are blown up by suicide bombers. The proximity of the shootings to the media center of New York City accounts for some of this intense navel-gazing, making the spree more real and singular to journalists than if it had occurred in the Middle East or even the Midwest. Dionne’s insular comment also fits with the media’s agenda here, which is to advance the idea that America is a peculiarly misgoverned country in need of a good gun sweep.

The media’s proposed solutions are always collective and federal, not individual and local. Rousseau’s idea that evil comes not from the human heart but from a poorly designed society has been much in evidence in the media’s pontifications. Panelists nodded vigorously on Meet the Press as Tom Ridge said that no one is born bad but only becomes bad as a consequence of collective failings.

In a less de-Christianized society, at least one of the panelists might have noticed that he had just repudiated the foundational idea of original sin. Don’t expect any “conversations” on that subject.

 

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article
About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.