Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ralston's False Equivolence

I understand Jon Ralston likes to be an "equal opportunity offender" when it comes to attacking politicians and political parties. And typically, I'm OK with that. However, I can't stay silent on his Sun column today.

Basically, he has a "pox on both their houses" attitude and he's arguing that progressives are just as guilty of character assassination as Rush Limbaugh may be because a few people on Twitter said some not-so-nice things about Andrew Breitbart just after he died. Really? Honestly, I didn't want to say anything about Breitbart. And I suspect I'm not the only one who felt that way. There was no "coordinated left wing assault on Breitbart's family", despite progressives' overall disgust with what he did to other people. I still don't really want to touch that, but I do think it's a bit of a stretch to compare Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone essay and a few comments on Twitter to the coordinated radical right attack on Sandra Fluke and all other American women who just happen to have used birth control at some point in their lives.

When did these women ever start web sites to attack politicians they didn't like? And when did these women ever work for Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington before building their own media empire? It's not as if they were ever "fair game"... Unless being invited to a Congressional hearing is now "fair game" to engage in full politics of personal destruction.

And then, there's this. Ralston compared right wing "insensitivity" to women's reproductive rights and women's health needs to "liberals look[ing] down on sincere people of faith who value their religion above almost everything". Really? I have many friends and family who are very much in tune with their faith, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for that. This is NOT about people of faith, or about churches being forced to do something against their beliefs. This is about ensuring women have the same access to contraception that men have to whatever sexual health care they desire... At least until Limbaugh opened his mouth and called Sandra Fluke a "slut" for ever using birth control.

Thank you, Jon Stewart, for explaining what this whole argument should really be about. It's just too bad that Jon Ralston seems to be missing the point.

Seriously, when did so many in the media decide that contraception is supposed to be "controversial"? When did it become just another "partisan poop fight" when women are being called "sluts" and "prostitutes" for simply expecting their health insurance to cover birth control? Are the media really becoming this ridiculous?

I suspect Ralston thought it would be in good taste to knock Shelley Berkley for some fundraising email and compare some comments on Twitter regarding Breitbart's death to the whole radical right effort to support Rush Limbaugh's attacks on American women while mildly criticizing Limbaugh and misstating what's actually at stake with the new rule proposed by President Obama to require health insurance coverage of contraception. It's not. And it's saddening to see media pundits yet again choose a false sense of "fair and balanced" over explaining why something is really in the news.

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