Often on this blog I complain about the liberal bias of the MSM (mainstream media) as represented by the ABC, CBS and NBC television networks and large metropolitan newspapers such as the New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post. Another continuing theme is the lack of support for the military and for the war against Islamic Jihadism by those very same entities. I take stabs at the reasons why, but today I ran across an LA Times column by Jonah Goldberg that clearly laid it out much better than I ever have. In The unspeakable American culture, he postulates that for whatever reason, the elite of the journalistic world dare not speak of the glue that binds our unique American culture — patriotism.
He starts off by wondering about Katie Couric‘s speech before the National Press Club where she weighed in against what was going on in the journalistic world right after 9/11 by bemoaning, “The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States.” Wow! I can understand if a journalist from Sri Lanka, Singapore, China or Belarus would have had a problem wearing an American flag pin at any time, but what pray tell could Couric find offensive or journalistically inappropriate about it, especially as a token of sympathy with all Americans in mourning and as a show of resolve toward our enemies? Goldberg has an answer.
I’ve come around to the view that the culture war can best be understood as a conflict between two different kinds of patriotism. On the one hand, there are people who believe being an American is all about dissent and change, that the American idea is inseparable from “progress.” America is certainly an idea, but it is not merely an idea. It is also a nation with a culture as real as France’s or Mexico’s. That’s where the other patriots come in; they think patriotism is about preserving Americanness.
Yet the strangest and most ironic aspect of our national culture is that we have an aversion to talking about a national culture. Samuel Huntington, one of the country’s premier social scientists, has become something of a pariah for constantly reminding people (in books such as “The Clash of Civilizations” and “Who Are We?”) that the United States is a nation, not just a government and a bunch of interest groups.
From my college days I still remember the constant drumming of American culture is inferior to European culture, that modern society isn’t any better than agrarian societies, that the US is too young to have any culture worth consideration — our art was too raw, our architecture too commercial, our moral values too restrictive, our minds too closed. Secularism begets multiculturalism begets we-are-the-world whiners.
In Europe and Canada, the cure for every malady seems to be multiculturalism. This is the odd notion that all cultures are equal — except for that of your own nation, which should be made to constantly bend to the aggrieved sensibilities of minority cultures. In Vancouver, Canada, smoking has been banned pretty much everywhere, except in Muslim-run hookah parlors. British schools were advised to ban crosses and crucifixes but not Muslim symbols. Honor killings among Muslims have gone ignored by police in progressive European countries out of some twisted sense of respect for Muslim culture.
The dirty, embarrassing secret is that this sort of multiculturalism has made Europe a wellspring of Islamic radicalism and terrorism, but America’s Muslim community has remained overwhelmingly peaceful. Why? Well, if the answer doesn’t lay in President Bush’s “outreach” — and few think it does — or in Euro-style multicultural condescension, maybe it has something to do with the American “we” that Couric and so many others seem so embarrassed by.
I hadn’t thought that last statement through before either. The radical elements of Islam are trying to break down American Muslim society into the chaotic mess that exists in Europe. Unfortunately, when you read what our MSM outlets report, especially about CAIR, they aren’t making the case that Americans, and American Muslims, are a part of a whole. Same ol’ divide and tear down — it’s pathetic. Even more so that what they are constantly tearing down is “us”. Funny, not funny ha ha, but I’m sure Couric and Co. feel they are being very “patriotic”.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 at 4:32 pm and is filed under Media Bias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed. | Print This Post | Email This Post
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