Friday, July 17, 2015

Narrative Uber Alles!

     Say, remember this kerfuffle?

     Read this article very closely:
     "We were flat out wrong."

     That’s the message Cracker Barrel is sending to enraged customers after the restaurant chain removed Duck Dynasty items from its stores over fears it might offend people.

     "Our intent was to avoid offending but that’s just what we've done," Cracker Barrel said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. "You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren't shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings."

     Is it gratifying that Cracker Barrel has reversed its decision? Moderately so, I suppose. But what about the reasons for both the original removal and the reversal? How would you assess them? As statements of conviction, or as commercial minimaxery that eschews all such notions?

     Imagine for just a moment that the GLAAD assault on Phil Robertson, which triggered A&E’s decision to "indefinitely suspend" the Duck Dynasty patriarch, had expressed the sentiments of a majority of Americans. Isn't it fairly easy to see what course Cracker Barrel would have followed? Would that have expressed a sincere conviction of any sort?

     How I long for the sight of a Thomas Watson Sr. or a George Pullman: men whose convictions defied considerations of majority sentiment, and who operated their companies as they damned well pleased. These days, the last line of the quarterly report seems to possess ultra-hypnotic powers. At any rate, no corporate executive or Board of Directors seems willing to stand on principle...regardless of the principle in question or its soundness by any criteria.

     Yes, yes, Gentle Reader. Fran's being an old fossil again. A dinosaur who just can't "get with it." What's all this nonsense about convictions? What relevance do they have to American enterprise in this scrambling-for-the-shekels / open twenty-four-seven /always on-always hot / fiber-optically-connected / happenin' age?

     You might want to give it some thought.

     The Robertsons proved triumphant in the court of general popular opinion. Cracker Barrel saw the writing on the wall. GLAAD took a whippin.’ Maybe it doesn’t happen often that we ordinary types with our moral convictions and our outrage toward would-be censors can defeat a vociferous, quick-to-mobilize special-interest group like corporately organized faggotry, but it happened that once.

     It might be about to happen again.


     The news of the week – forget all the Iran BS; it will be memory-holed quicker than you can say “He has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officials to harass our people and eat out their substance” – is the disclosure of this obscenity:

     An undercover video shot last summer by a new pro-life organization called Center for Medical Progress purports to show the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of America talking on camera about how to abort a child intact so the child’s body parts can be transferred for medical and scientific research.

     The video was shot by a team led by David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress posing as representatives of a start up biotech firm in the business of buying fetal body parts for medical and scientific research. Daleiden told Breitbart News, “It was remarkably easy to make contact with Planned Parenthood” to discuss procurement of fetal tissue.

     The video purports to show, between bites of lunch and sips of wine, Dr. Deborah Nucatola saying, “A lot of people want intact hearts these days, because they are looking for specific nodes.”

     She adds: “Yesterday was the first time she said people wanted lungs. And then, like I said, always as many intact livers as possible. People just want…some people want lower extremities, too. I mean that’s easy. I don’t know what they’re doing with it, I guess they want muscle.”

     In the 8-minute edited video released today by the Center for Medical Progress, Nucatola can be seen and heard discussing her ongoing relationship with another company called StemExpress that works as a middleman in the buying and selling of fetal tissue, a process that is legal so long as any moneys exchanged are strictly for expenses and not for profit.

     The video also shows what is purported to be an actual online order form from Stem Express complete with a pull-down menu for “brain, heart, heart (veins and arteries attached), lungs, liver, liver and thymus, spleen, large intestine” and so on. The order form also specifies the “gestational range” from 4 weeks upwards.

     So apart from federal and state subsidies, and apart from fees it charges to unwilling mothers-to-be, Planned Parenthood has a third financial incentive to encourage abortions. As many other commentators have already noted, were the parts being taken from the bodies of euthanized domestic animals, the outrage over this would deafen the continent. But selling the body parts of aborted unborn children?

     The tension in MediaLand over this is thick enough to cut with one of those blunted scissors we give toddlers to poke out their playmates’ eyes with. Abortion on demand is the sacrament of the Left, and Planned Parenthood is the largest provider thereof in these United States. Like homosexual sodomy, same-sex marriage, and Barack Hussein Obama, it must be defended to the death.

     So defended it shall be:

     Whenever abortion pops into the picture, emotions run high.

     But where do mainstream newspapers get off simply not reporting the news?

     This is what happened Tuesday when a video of a Planned Parenthood exec discussing the sale of aborted fetus parts over lunch went viral. Who eats salad while discussing fetal livers?

     As the story unfolded, the only sites covering it were the ones who were most disgusted by it — Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze, National Review, Breitbart News, TownHall, The Federalist, RedState and my own employer, The Daily Caller.

     Lefty sites like Salon, Slate, BuzzFeed, and Gawker followed up late Tuesday and Wednesday to discredit the entire story. It’s not what it seemed. No laws were broken, they reported. “No,” declared Gawker like a stern schoolmarm. “Planned Parenthood is not selling aborted fetal body parts.” On Wednesday night, Media Matters, which operates like an arm of the Democratic Party, had a cluster of stories on its homepage — all debunking the video.

     Salon rolled out their anti-choice piece on Wednesday at lunchtime (yum).

     And of course, there have been counterattacks on the Center for Medical Progress and on David Daleiden.

     Mind you, among the counter-attackers are folks who condemn crisis pregnancy centers, where counselors try to persuade unhappy mothers-to-be to let their babies live, as “oppressive.” They rail against the centers’ provision of free ultrasound images of the developing baby as “unnecessary” and “intrusive.” For lagniappe, have a gander at this tweet from longtime far-Left pudenda worshipper and dementia sufferer Amanda Marcotte:

     Now go to your “favorite” Main Stream Media channel of distraction, deflection, and disinformation, and ask where the coverage of this national outrage has been backwatered.


     In a summer postmortem on the Duke University rape hoax, Rachel Smolkin of the American Journalism Review summed up much of what is wrong with journalism today:
     Perhaps the most complex lessons about the media coverage of the Duke case involve issues of narrative. Unquestionably, the media too readily ran with a simplistic storyline, sacrificing a search for truth. Not only were the accused innocent of rape, the allegations of racial taunts that received so much media attention appear to have been exaggerated.

     "We fell into a stereotype of the Duke lacrosse players," says Newsweek's Evan Thomas. "It's complicated because there is a strong stereotype [that] lacrosse players can be loutish, and there's evidence to back that up. There's even some evidence that the Duke lacrosse players were loutish, and we were too quick to connect those dots."

     But he adds: "It was about race. Nifong's motivations clearly were rooted in his need to win black votes. There were tensions between town and gown, that part was true. The narrative was properly about race, sex and class. . . . We went a beat too fast in assuming that a rape took place. . . . We just got the facts wrong. The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong."

     [James Taranto, “Issues Of Narrative”]

     Narratives, according to scholars of contemporary media, now dominate all decisions to report on anything. The Left has its favored narratives, and the Main Stream Media are their wholly-owned subsidiary. Indeed, it’s close to impossible for a person of openly conservative convictions to get employment in the “journalism” industry today; the editors will fear his potential for fracturing one or more of their important narratives by deliberately reporting unembroidered facts. Even academia is more welcoming to the right-of-center.

     However, in this particular instance, the news has leaked out widely enough, and enough consciences have been troubled deeply enough, that the cover has been ripped off. Therefore, we can expect a phase of MSM backing-and-filling blended with the promotion of “news” hoped to be interesting enough (i.e., salacious enough) to deflect attention from the PP/CMP report. Meanwhile, many furious attempts will be made to discredit the CMP, David Daleiden, and every organ of any size that dared to lend its voice to the publication of this obscenity.

     I’ve been asked more times than I can count why, after so many years of “talking to myself” via the World Wide Web, I continue to rave on. Here is the answer. Without bloggers and other varieties of “citizen journalists,” the Main Stream Media would own us as completely as the Left owns them.

     Do your part. Please.

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