Monday, November 12, 2007

the C-J gets ugly

An odd choice of headline by an editor at the C-J in reproducing Chuck Raasch's piece on Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani: "Will far right back Giuliani?"

I only found the piece one other time on-line-- in the Tucson Citizen with the far more appropriate title of "Robertson backs Giuliani, but will it make a difference?".

As I have detailed in my book, I have significant differences with the Religious Right (as well as the Religious Left)-- on both biblical/ethical and practical grounds. But the C-J's title choice is both unclear and malicious-- and requires a defense of those being maligned.

The term "far right" is unclear, because there is no clear, concise definition of "the Right". In fact, there are all sorts of "conservatives"-- to name the primary categories: those who are social conservatives and those who are fiscal conservatives (with only modest overlap between the two), those who avidly support free trade and immigration along with those who avidly oppose both policies, those who are hawks with respect to foreign military affairs and those who are non-interventionists (like Ron Paul). At the end of the day, the term doesn't help much.

From there, the C-J gets nasty, by pulling out the "far right" label. Again, with the lack of clarity in the term "right", adding "far" only confuses things more. But, beyond that, the term "far" is meant as a pejorative to marginalize certain people of faith.

Not surprisingly, I have my differences with the editorialists at the C-J. But I've usually enjoyed reading their stuff and even defended them as less biased than is often asserted. All that said, it's been (at least) a bad month for them...


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