Monday, February 02, 2009

Shoddy Journalism

I am no fan of Nancy Pelosi, but the CNN piece Ridiculous items in stimulus plan, by Ruben Navarrette Jr., is so shoddy and misrepresentative that an apology should be issued. Aware that this post is in danger of dying the death of a thousand qualifications, let me say I am not in favor of Pelosi's position nor of the stimulus package as a whole. However, to equate Pelosi's position with the radical agenda of Margaret Sanger is shameful. This is guilt by association of the worst kind.

Basically, Navarrette's argument is that for a brief moment what Pelosi said sounded like something Sanger would have said. Sanger was an awful person who wanted to forcefully sterilize Jews and Italians. How awful. Pelosi's taking us down that path.

Here's an example: "When you make the argument that contraception is a cost-saving measure for state and federal government, some might think what you're implying is that the babies who would otherwise have been born were destined to become dependent on welfare and other public services. (emphasis added). Navarrette deals more with how Pelosi's argument might be construed and possible links to a radical social engineering agenda than he does criticizing the actual argument she makes (in which there is plenty to criticize!). In essence, his mode of argument would be like someone saying, 'When pastor Dan says Jesus was fully human, some might think he's denying the deity of Jesus'. Navarrette should deal critically with what she said, not with how some might take her words.

This is the next paragraph in Navarrette's piece [with comments]: "Now, maybe that isn't where Pelosi was headed with her comments. It doesn't matter. [YES IT DOES] She shouldn't have said what she said [I disagree. If that's why she want's more funding for contraception/abortion, be honest and say it. Better that than hiding behind political double speak]. Imagine if these remarks had come from a conservative Republican from a red state instead of a liberal Democrat from a blue state. The left-leaning media would have gone nuts. [Yep. And here you are going nuts. What's the difference]"

Enough demonizing people and assuming the worst. Deal with positions, deal with them accurately. That's my two cents worth.

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