2013/10/11

The “New” Media Matters


Media Matters For America (MMFA) announced that right-wingers Ben Shapiro and David Horowitz were collaborating on a right-wing competitor to MMFA. MMFA cheerfully reproduced Shapiro's comments to his fellow right-wingers as Shaprio explained to his buddies that MMFA was an extraordinarily powerful and competent foe that they'd do well to copy.

I took a look at one of the pieces on Shapiro's site. I took a screenshot and highlighted two of the sentences.

 
The sentence that says: “Maddow smirked, reviled the Senator's reasoning, then employed the most trusted tactic amidst the left's arsenal – dismantle a law's merits by employing one fringe case as the rule, not the exception.”

I took the screenshot to emphasize how this assertion was immediately followed by Rachel Maddow's own description of the case: “Two years after the bill became law, the Nebraska state supreme court issued their first verdict under the parental consent law.” [emphases added]

Yeah, that's kind of a problem. How can “the left” be “employing one fringe case” when there's only one case to examine?!?!?

One interesting question comes up. “The girl at the center of the case is now more than 4 months pregnant and she was only ten weeks pregnant when the state of Nebraska first denied her permission to have an abortion." Maddow discusses how the girls birth parents are no longer around to give their permission for an abortion.

But, the blogger points out, “Maddow did not mention ... the girl's foster parents...” Well, okay, but the blogger clearly has no information as to how the girl's foster parents are related to the case. There might be a legal reason as to why the girl's foster parents don't figure into the case. My own suspicion is that the court decided that, for whatever reason, the foster parents didn't have a say or didn't want to have a say in the case. The court then decided to protect their privacy by leaving them out of the case entirely.
The blogger is stretching well beyond the available evidence to make any assertions about how the foster parents fit into the case. Obviously, the blogger simply doesn't know.

A look at the comments shows lots of people clucking their disapproval of the fact that a 16-year old girl was engaging in sex to begin with. Maddow states that “A Nebraska court dissolved their parental right because they physically abused and neglected their daughter.” Sounds an awful lot to me as though the girl became pregnant as a result of incest, but again, the privacy of various people is clearly being protected here. My presumption is that, again, there are sound legal reasons for this.

The most obvious conclusion that I draw here is that there are very good reasons why the State of Nebraska shouldn't be meddling in pregnancy/abortion decisions to begin with. The case is obviously beyond their competence and it clearly should be left to those who are immediately concerned with it. Also, Shapiro's “TruthRevolt” site doesn't appear to be very competent at this whole media criticism thing as neither the blogger nor the editor seems to have any idea as to what they're doing.

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