Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Disproportionate Evenhandedness

I didn't watch Christiane Amanpour's series "God's Warriors" when it aired on CNN. The first advertisement I saw set my BS detector off. I don't believe in documentaries that leave the viewer stupider. Everything I've heard since has only verified that I had my detector's accuracy. Salomon Benzimra neatly summarizes all that is wrong with politically correct news these days that tries to tries to treat all ideologies nonjudgmentally with his neat term, "Disproportionate Evenhandedness."

The irony here is that CNN, the New York Times, PBS, etc treat radical Islamist more respectfully than mainstream Republicans.

Her purpose was to show how faith affects present-day politics. This is a most relevant topic today. Religion, as any other set of beliefs, is perfectly entitled to influence the political agenda, as long as the tactics employed remain lawful. The very title of the program, God’s Warriors, implies that the three religions - Judaism, Islam and Christianity - are acting aggressively, or even violently, to carry out their agenda. If that is patently true for Islam, it is clearly not so for either Judaism or Christianity.

By ignoring the chasm between the strategy and tactics used in political action by Islam, on the one hand, and Jewish and Christian groups on the other, and by giving the three religions equal air time, Amanpour has done a great disservice to her audience. It is as though a single inner city murder should deserve the same CNN coverage as the mass murders in Bali, Tel Aviv, Madrid, London, Delhi, and countless others carried out in the name of Islam. She probably put the three religions on the same footing to be "politically correct," in a misguided drive not to discriminate or offend any group.

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