Monday, April 24, 2006

More Mailbag Imbalance

For those of you scoring at home, Mark Hyman’s most recent “mailbag” segment contained seven pro-Hyman responses and only one dissenter.

Focusing on his harangue about a former member of the Taliban who was accepted as a non-degree student at Yale, Hyman quotes from a number of those who share his philosophy (“liberal academia is pushing this country to Hell in a hand cart”), although they often express it rather bizarrely (“this is just another area of corruption and prejudice in our country”).

The oddest part of the commentary, however, comes at the end:

But a few sided with Yale. John in Columbus, Ohio wrote, "Some
day I hope to be like you, Mr. Hyman; get paid to stand in front of a camera and
say harmful, judgmental things." It is appalling John that you don't find it
harmful when Taliban officials shelter Osama bin Ladin, urge death to Americans,
execute homosexuals and then Yale gives one of them the red carpet treatment.
You, sir, have no clue.

What can one say about this? First, there’s nothing in the quotation that mentions the issue of Yale. Perhaps John spent most of his missive praising Yale’s decision, but you wouldn’t know that from the quotation Hyman uses. You don’t suppose it’s possible that Hyman is misrepresenting the content and context of John’s remarks, do you?

Then there’s the self-centered aspect of it. Like so much of both the positive and negative comments Hyman pulls for inclusion in his mailbag segment, the criticism is a remark about Hyman himself that’s unrelated to the issue at hand. This is par for the course with Hyman’s mailbag segments, where the praise and blame usually focus on Hyman, not the issue he’s supposedly inviting us to think critically about.

Finally, in attacking John for his alleged support of giving a member of the Taliban “the red carpet treatment,” Hyman ignores the fact that the Bush administration
has a history of rolling out the red carpet itself when it comes to the Taliban.

Just another vacuous day with Hyman’s mailbag.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yep. Mailbag. Pure and simple propaganda. No redeeming societal value.

Why is this appropriate for the American Peoples' airwaves?

Why is it that the Very Rich get more -- way much more -- freedom of speech? And at the public's expense.

Hyman is a clear example of what's wrong with the reactionary right's vision of "Ownership Society" It's the Very Rich that get the ownership.

We all just have to put up with it.

Not exactly a democracy, huh?


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