Sunday, September 25, 2005

Short Smears

Mark Hyman’s recent “Short Takes” segment would have been more accurately titled “Short Smears.”

First, Hyman (in his first mention of the Hurricane Katrina disaster) tells us that “at least two” people used the $2000 government-issued debit cards for $800 handbags. Apparently, the idiocy of these two people (presuming they actually exist) is supposed to convince us that the government shouldn’t have been so foolish as to offer an entire two thousand dollars to the tens of thousands of those left without homes and jobs.

Hyman also cites a recent Harris poll showing that while firefighters, doctors, nurses, and scientists are among the most prestigious professions among Americans, journalists ranked “fourth from the bottom.”

A couple of things here: it says everything one needs to know about Sinclair’s approach to their avowed profession that their mouthpiece continually reviles journalists in general as well as the individuals who practice it. Second, I can’t help but point out that teachers, a group routinely savaged by Hyman, are also among the most prestigious professionals in the country, and the only group to have a net increase in prestige since Harris started collecting data in 1977. Finally, it might bode ill for Hyman’s pals in Sinclair Corporate Headquarters that business executives were in a statistical dead heat with journalists near the bottom of the prestige scale. As for Hyman’s own profession, he understandably didn’t mention that actors were the group most identified as having “hardly any prestige at all.”

In a comment about the anti-war rally planned for September 24 in Washington, D.C., Hyman repeats the misleading claim that this gathering is the work of a single group, International ANSWER. He also misinforms his viewers about the purpose of the demonstration, saying nothing about the anti-war theme that is the centerpiece of the gathering, instead claiming that International ANSWER is protesting because they believe the evacuations of New Orleans were a “conspiracy” by real estate interests who wanted to buy up cheap property.

In fact, the anti-war demonstrations in Washington drew from a wide political range, including those who support President Bush in most issues, with the exception of the Iraq war. The gathering drew around 100,000 participants, far more than the less than 10,000 at the pro-war demonstration orchestrated by the Pentagon on September 11. This shouldn’t be surprising, however. After all, the folks gathering in Washington on Saturday were voicing
the opinion held by a sizable majority of their countrymen.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 2.80


Post a Comment

<< Home

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
To see more details, click here.