Saturday, July 2

Civilization, I Bid You ... Good Day

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting can be a little shrill at times. Case in point, an item about a recent broadcast by the venerable talk show host Paul Harvey, in which he declared as follows:
"We didn't come this far because we're made of sugar candy. Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and across this continent by giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans. That was biological warfare. And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever. "And we grew prosperous. And yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves. So it goes with most great nation-states, which--feeling guilty about their savage pasts--eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry up-and-coming who are not made of sugar candy."

Comment the bicho grilos at FAIR:

Harvey's evident approval of slavery, genocide and nuclear and biological warfare would seem to put him at odds with Disney's family-friendly image. The media conglomerate syndicates Harvey to more than 1,000 radio stations, where he reaches an estimated 18 million listeners. Disney recently signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with the 86-year-old Harvey. In 2004, Disney forbid its Miramax subsidiary to distribute Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11, even though Miramax was the principal investor in the film. A Disney executive told the New York Times (5/5/04) that it was declining to distribute the film because, in the paper's words, "Disney caters to families of all political stripes and believes Mr. Moore's film...could alienate many." One wonders whether Disney executives are worried about alienating families who oppose slavery, nuclear war and Native American genocide.

I don't necessarily see an endorsement of these historical facts by Mr. Harvey. You certainly can't fault him for inaccurate reporting. We did do that. I need more context, this could well be more of a jeremiad than a call to jihad. Or perhaps Fair is right and he wants us to find the iron in our souls once more. And Disney does seem to have something to answer for, and I say that as someone who didn't care that much for Mike's blockbuster. See also Microsoft's contribution of censorware to aid and abet China government censorship of Web logs.


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11/06/2005 12:19:00 pm  

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