I was planning on taking in the President's SOTU address, nursing my cold, and continuing my exposition tomorrow, however, two particular instances of the MSM perverse fascination and idealization of language bear commenting upon.
Hugh Hewitt has a summary and links to many bloggers commenting on CNN's Eason Jordan, at the Davos Forum, accusing the American Military of assassinating journalists Journalist Assassins. He does this with no evidence to back him up, in front of international press, presenting perfect sound bites to al Jazeera from a prominent member of one of the foundations of the American MainStreamMedia. I suggest you go to Hugh's site to read the details. Take this as exhibit one.
The second item I would like to comment on is the New York Times article by Sarah Boxer (for links to the article and the blogoshpere's response, start with this from Glenn Reynolds) in which she suggested that the Iraqi brothers who blog at Iraq the Model were CIA plants. As with Jordan, she offers no evidence (she took a throwaway line from an anti-war blogger's site, with no attempt at confirmation and printed it in the Paper of Record.)
Both of these examples of vile accusations, without a shred of proof, not meeting even minimal journalistic standards of fairness or accuracy, are evidence of a perverse orientation to language. These so-called journalists believe that what is important is sophisticated use of language, devoid of reality. In this world, one says whatever one wishes, the more elegant, the better. If the journalist is particularly inclined, they tailor their remarks to evoke the approval of their audience, usually a collection of others who value words above deeds. Interestingly, their particular approach also suggests that words don't really matter, ie, their words have no effect in reality. Boxer would be appalled if one of the Iraqi brothers were to be killed; she would never recognize her culpability. Here is a comment from Jeff Jarvis on the article:
Ms. Boxer, don't you think you could be putting the life of that person at risk with that kind of speculation? In your own story, you quote Ali -- one of the three blogging brothers who started IraqTheModel -- saying that "here some people would kill you for just writing to an American." And yet you go so much farther -- blithely, glibly speculating about this same man working for the CIA or the DoD -- to sex up your lead and get your story atop the front of the Arts section (I'm in the biz, Boxer, I know how the game is played).
How dare you? Have you no sense of responsibility? Have you no shame?
The answer, of course, is "No!"; she has no shame; she doesn't realize that her words are more than mere specks on paper, but may actually have real world consequences. I suspect that Eason would never admit that his inexcusable comments might expose American service men and women to risk, or in fact, would continue the job of assaulting America's image in the world that the MSM seems to take as their primary job these days. In fact, they often argue that our free press is one of the glory's of our nation (and they are correct) but they fail to see that when they sacrifice their job of obtaining and reporting information in the service of telling a deeper Truth that only they are privy to, they damage themselves, damage the MSM they are a part of, and more unfortunately, damage the democratic adventure itself.
Psychoanalytically, perversion involves simultaneously the acting out of an individual's fantasy, using the other as an object for gratification. The reality of the other is essentially denied. They exist to play a part in the fantasy world of the pervert.
In my two examples today, Boxer and Eason pervert the language; they use words to enact their own agenda while denying the reality of the other, those who might be affected by their words. Their words matter more than any actions, yet their words have no impact...