Saturday, March 03, 2012

The False Equivalency Thing

It didn't take long for the conspiracy theories to pop up concerning Andrew Breitbart's death. Reminds me of the Vince Foster suicide, with anti-Clinton conspiracy theories surfacing not long after his unfortunate death.

Never mind that when many of us last saw Mr. Breitbart he was seemingly very drunk while screaming at a bunch of Occupiers, as if he was going through some sort of breakdown or personal episode.

We may never know why he died, but for many they've already figured it out.

What irks me most since Breitbart's passing is to hear the media once again trot out the false equivalency thing. You know how it goes by now, this desperate need to find personalities on the left to pair-up with the Limbaughs, Hannitys, and Breitbarts of the right.

During a morning this week, I was listening to WBZ news radio and a one-minute-blurb commentator, Jon Keller, said:
[W]hen Breitbart took the video of that Obama administration official’s speech and edited it to make it seem like she was being racist, that wasn’t acceptable journalism or political discourse.

When lefty journalists speculate about whether or not Sarah Palin is the mother of her son, that’s just as bad if not worse.
Really? Breitbart committed a journalistic wrong that actually cost someone their job and Keller deems this not "acceptable," but then equates Breitbart to nameless "lefty journalists" who may have committed a professional no-no "as bad if not worse." If not worse?! What?! Keller doesn't bother to identify any of these pinko journalists but goes further to slam any of them for doing something possibly worse than what Breitbart actually did, which had real repercussions!

I shouldn't be surprised by this, it's become so commonplace. Hell, for a short stint not too long ago we observed the great Jon Stewart dabble with the both-sides-are-to-blame equivalency canard. But if memory serves, I believe Stewart woke up and quickly backed off his brief attempt at becoming Senor Above It All, realizing that what he was saying was horse sh*t, based on high-minded fiction as opposed to real-life ugly truth.

But it unfortunately continues. Another example is Dr. Horace "Woody" Brock, holder of five academic degrees and author of recent book, American Gridlock. Obviously a smart man. His book professes to offer solutions that succeed in cutting through the right vs. left gridlock, yet even this brainiac appears to be guilty of the false equivalency disease. Early on in his book, he equates Rush Limbaugh (right-wing) with Paul Krugman (left-wing). Look, I can understand the partisan divide combined with fame between these two guys to make them likely targets for A=B, but c'mon, give me a break. One of them is an esteemed Nobel Prize winner and the other is an "entertainer" of expansive disrepute (!!). I mean the attempt-to-equate is completely absurd, esp. for someone with so many degrees.

Unfortunately, it likely won't be the last time we get subjected to the false equivalency thing....

No comments: