Is this really how it is going to be? Are the media protectors of President Obama really going to stoop to anti-Mormon bigotry to attack Mitt Romney? First New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow writes disparagingly about the Mormon “magic underpants” with nary a peep of protest or discipline from his bosses at the New York Times, and now MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell spews out this last night as Romney’s three primary wins were being tallied:
“Mormonism was created by a guy in upstate New York in 1830 when he got caught having sex with the maid and explained to his wife that God told him to do it. Forty-eight wives later, Joseph Smith’s lifestyle was completely sanctified in the religion he invented to go with it. Which Mitt Romney says he believes.”
A news anchor, reporter or pundit who made an equivalent slur on Islam would be suspended, at the very least. (Of course, the media are frightened of Muslims.) A talking head who said something equally demeaning about Judaism would presumably be fired. Last I looked, however, O’Donnell was still on MSNBC after smearing the religion of 6.5 million Americans and over 12 million worldwide. How can this be?
Some who have criticized O’Donnell’s disgraceful attack on Mormonism have corrected O’Donnell’s facts and defended the religion—I’m not going to do that, because it dignifies his low-life values and his hateful methods. All religions are “invented”, and all have beliefs that any fourth grader could ridicule. Supposedly, we aren’t prejudiced against people because of their religious beliefs. Funny…I thought religion was right up there with race, country of origin and gender as personal characteristics that American culture respected and would insist that others respected as well. Apparently not, as the ethics alarms seem to be thoroughly busted at MSNBC, and the sensitive, 99% rallying, social justice-minded progressives who applaud the daily divisiveness championed by Fox News’s Left Wing doppleganger see nothing at all untoward about O’Donnell, supposedly MSNBC’s standard-bearer, embracing naked, blatant bigotry as part on the networks’ pro-Obama push.
The description for O’Donnell’s conduct isn’t just unethical, it’s ugly and un-American. It is also frightening, as it becomes increasingly clear that too many in the media are so desperate align themselves with progressives and Democrats that they are willing to abandon all values and principles, including honesty, fairness, decency, professionalism…you name it, they are expendable, if it helps re-elect Barack Obama.
MSNBC can prove me, if not wrong, overly alarmed, by firing Lawrence O’Donnell. What he did was not to denigrate one woman, like Rush Limbaugh, or a politician with a misogynist term, like Bill Maher. He attacked a politician by ridiculing his sincerely-held religious beliefs and those of other good and distinguished Americans…including, it might be noted, Seante Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, as well as three other Senators, several members of Congress, former Obama ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Amy Adams, Wiford Brimley, the Osmonds, Eliza Dushku, Katherine Heigl, Rick Schroeder, Matthew Modine, centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox, plus Sharla Quayle, the lovely, talented pint-size blonde I had a crush on in high school, and Dave Scorup, my freshman room mate in college, both of whom were and presumably are still among the most decent, caring, good and trustworthy human beings it would ever be your pleasure to meet.
So I’m waiting to see if MSNBC—and its viewers— really oppose prejudice, hate and bigotry like good progressives and liberals claim to, and if Media Matters tries to pressure their favorite news network to reduce hate on the airwaves, or if, as I suspect, they prove the opposite by standing by the likes of Lawrence O’Donnell, because what really matters to them is not whether you are vicious and hateful, but whether you hate the right people.
I think it’s a fair test.