Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jim Carrey Ain't Got Nothing on Hyman

In his most recent “Point,” Mark Hyman claims to have collected “some of the dumbest statements made so far” in 2006.

You’ll be shocked to learn that he picks quotations exclusively from those left of center.

He takes to task Ted Kennedy for saying “streetwalking” when he apparently meant “jay walking.” (I just thank God that we have a president for whom the English language is sacrosanct and who would never make such an embarrassing faux pas himself.)

He also goes after California Assemblyman Mark Leno for criticizing an evangelical Christian group holding
a rally in San Francisco by saying “They're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco.” Hyman says this shows Leno’s intolerance.

But Leno didn’t ask for the group to be prevented from holding their demonstration; he simply stated his opinion of them. True, Leno’s words are awfully harsh, but what Hyman doesn’t tell you is that the group Leno is speaking about is an organization called “Teen Mania” and/or “Battle Cry Ministries,” headed up by a guy named
Ron Luce. The organization’s rhetoric is filled with militaristic metaphors (Luce openly talks about a “culture war” and talks about getting young people geared up for “battle”) and their demonstrations include the display of red flags (a not-so-subtle echo of fascistic iconography).

And what particularly set Leno off was the fact that Luce held a rally of his group on the steps of the San Francisco courthouse, and in announcing this event,
made overt connections to the fact that this was to be a response to the awfulness of the same-sex marriages that had been held on those same steps. My guess is that if Hyman, or anyone else, had a group of flag-waving, rock-playing teens congregating at the place where he celebrated his nuptials, and did so with the specific purpose of mocking his marriage and those of people like him, he’d have a few choice words for them, too.

And Hyman also attacks (surprise, surprise) John Kerry. Kerry’s “dumb” statement was a remark that nothing in the Bible suggests that it would be a virtue to cut Medicaid to children.

Hyman makes a point of misreading Kerry’s attack on hypocrites who spout platitudes about their “personal relationship with Christ” and the importance of their faith, yet fail to actually put the most basic and obvious values of Christianity into practice when they make policy. Hyman’s inane response to Kerry? “Kerry is correct. You will not find a single mention of Medicaid in the Bible.”

No, but you will find something about bearing false witness, Mark. Look it up.

The funny thing is that Hyman didn’t need to go anywhere to find truly dumb statements. He could have just combed his own archives. Below is a mere sampling of the dumb, false, and simply ugly things Hyman has said in only the first few months of the year.

Hyman said that Senators Kerry and Kennedy put a secret hold on intelligence legislation, when in fact it was a Republican senator who did so.

claimed the ACLU was anti-Christian, but the ACLU has defended the religious rights of Christians in dozens of cases.

suggested undocumented immigrants were shiftless drains on America, apparently unaware that one of the first soldiers to die in the invasion of Iraq came to the U.S. illegally.

He claimed
MoveOn.org hadn’t won any political battles, despite the fact that the group has chalked up a long laundry list of victories across the country.

blamed Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco for the disastrous aftermath of Katrina, but the same week he made these statements, video showing President Bush being briefed in advance about levee breaches surfaced (proving, among other things, that Bush lied several times in the weeks following about how “no one” could have anticipated the breaches).

He disgustingly suggested that
women’s sexual freedom and their right to privacy (specifically not being named if they are the victims of rape) are mutually exclusive.

He mocked the plight of those who fled Katrina by saying that New Orleans
residents were on “public assistance” instead of rebuilding the city.

characterized statements made by ACLU president Nadine Strossen in a way that was often 180 degrees at odds with what she actually said and meant.

approvingly cited a viewer letter that advocated the killing of a judge.

He made
disingenuous attacks on the founder of the ACLU and whitewashed over the fascistic leanings held by the leader of the American Legion in the 1920s.

spent three days championing the altruism of Scott Stapp, who within a few weeks, had married the sister of a “Point” staffer and gotten himself arrested for public intoxication on his way to his honeymoon.

claimed Maryland legislation concerning Wal-Mart was “anti-worker,” despite the fact that the legislation was championed by Wal-Mart employees. He also failed to disclose his own personal connection with Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich, who opposed the legislation.

He claimed a fine concerning a fundraising donation to Hillary Clinton was not covered in the media, despite the fact that nearly every major newspaper in the nation ran a story about it.

spent an entire “Point” doing an on-air commercial for a book by Jack Cashill, a man who believes Ron Brown’s death in a plane crash was an assassination, that the crash of TWA 800 in 1996 was a Clintonian conspiracy, that an admitted killer of an abortion-providing doctor didn’t do it, that terrorist bomber Eric Rudolph was unfairly targeted by the FBI because of his fundamentalist politics, and that the theory of evolution is a fraud.

approvingly cited a study that showed concern about dying motivated people to vote for Bush in 2004, ignoring the study’s central point, which is that the Bush campaign used demagoguery and fear mongering in the campaign.

attacked deceased journalist Jack Anderson for his supposed gilding of facts in his stories, ignoring the obvious hypocrisy of anyone from Sinclair pontificating journalistic ethics, given the company’s cozy relationship with disgraced columnist Armstrong Williams, the company’s use of pre-fabricated video PR pieces as “news,” and the entire “Stolen Honor” fiasco.

Feel free to add your own nominees of Hyman’s greatest misses in 2006, or any other of your favorite neo-con falsehoods!

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 2.94


At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Tracy A. said...

I am so disgusted by Mark Hyman everytime I see him on t.v. I am so happy about your site.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Thanks for the kind words, Tracy! Glad to be of service, and I hope you'll be a regular visitor.


At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ted.

And then there's the whole "what's the point" of all these Hyman pronouncements?

Hyman's output is not journalism or even honest commentary. It's just meant to rally his base by casting aspersions. How great is that? And what is his base, that needs such low-grade amusement?


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