On this website, we often draw attention to the way that Media people, and Leftists in general, prefer a fantasy world to the real one. It is predictable that those who gravitate to the world of acting, making movies, producing plays, writing fiction and inhabiting the arts world in general, find it hard to recognize reality and cope with it.
Many take refuge in drugs, drink and sexual fantasy, and Hollywood is full of such people. The same people love to indulge in what might aptly be called “gesture politics” and are addicted to symbolic activities (candle-lit vigils, wearing pink ribbons, painting peace signs, driving old VW’s festooned with environmental stickers, taking part in annual marches and pretending to throw away military awards, are all examples).
The rest of us could simply laugh at this were it not for the fact that the Media Class, preferring fantasy to reality, now dominates our political and social systems through control of our news and entertainment.
The absurd Cindy Sheehan camping out in Crawford to further the cause of “peace” is an example of gesture, symbolism and self-advertisement all in one lovable package and the Media presumably wants us to believe that real peace is made more possible by her antics. Actually her silly activities, hugely publicized by a colluding media, simply encourage our enemies (and hers, if she did but know it) to redouble their violent war against us. Another example is Madonna’s adoption of a baby in Africa (it had to be Africa and linked to AIDS!). If the American public really is persuaded that this cynical little pantomime (is it remotely possible that this was intended to be a private action by a woman who loves children?) is indeed top world news at a time when North Korea has exploded a nuclear device, then the West is in dire straits. Unfortunately, our new ruling class is bombarding us hour after hour and day after day with this meaningless trivia at the same time as the world becomes a more dangerous place.
I have referred to this big picture of a ruling class that would have us all take refuge in fantasy and ignore facts, to give context to two books that have recently hit the bookshops. Both books are already being strongly pushed by the Media Class.
On this website we have posted several pieces related to the death penalty (see January 8, 14 and 30, 2006, March 22, 2006 and April 13, 2006 Archive). We support the death penalty for murder, and indeed advocate that it be extended to cover certain other crimes. Advances in science mean that evidence is more and more reliable. Nevertheless, Leftists always oppose it and we have previously discussed their motives and the flaws in their arguments. Since they continually fail to win over to their views ordinary people who inhabit the real world, Leftists and Media people (in this case, one and the same) try to appeal to emotion by resorting to fiction and fantasy. There have been many Hollywood films, theatrical plays and dozens of novels, all designed to undermine popular support for the death penalty. In this world of make-belief, the book author or film director can make the facts fit the message and blur the distinction between good and bad that ordinary people use as their guidelines. John Grisham is a popular fiction author and a long-time and zealous opponent of the death penalty. As we have previously argued, those who oppose the death penalty always see the criminal as victim and the judicial process as the problem. Victims of crime are noticeably absent in their concerns. It is a curious attitude but common enough amongst those who inhabit the Arts world that is such a central part of the Media Class.
Grisham has a new book out and this time it is a “non-fiction” work. It has been written to both undermine public confidence in capital punishment and in the legal system that applies it. I have deliberately put “non-fiction” in inverted commas. Before anyone is tempted to read “The Innocent Man”, I suggest he reads an excellent review of it by Joshua Marquis (WSJ October 10th 2006). Marquis exposes the uncomfortable facts that Grisham has left out of his narrative about the trial, conviction and subsequent freeing of Ron Williamson, an unsuccessful baseball player from Oakland, California. Williamson had been found guilty of the grisly murder of 27 year-old Debbie Carter in 1987. He had already been twice charged with rape and got off and subsequently admitted to another. He was sentenced to death for the Carter murder but DNA sampling ultimately revealed that two other men were responsible and he was freed in what Marquis calls “a highly choreographed media event in 1999”. He died from cirrhosis soon after his release from prison at age 51. He had been a heavy drinker and drug taker before his imprisonment. Grisham attempts, by omitting many relevant facts, to show that the legal system is hugely untrustworthy and that the death penalty is therefore indefensible.
Marquis points out that the outcome of the case was the result of checks and balances in the legal system and that law officers behaved with principle. As Marquis writes, “he (Grisham) doesn’t maintain even a pretense of detached reporting”.
It is telling that opponents of the death penalty can never write an account of a so-called miscarriage of justice without twisting the facts. Grisham is a member of the Media Class and as I said earlier, for such people real life should never get in the way of their fantasy world.
“State Of Denial”, by Bob Woodward, is also just reaching the bookshelves and getting both maximum and fawning media cover* in the pre-election period. This book purports to show how the Bush Administration is incompetent, out of touch and dysfunctional. Again, I would advise everyone to read an excellent review by Jonathan Karl (WSJ 11th October 2006) before believing anything in this book, for Mr. Karl reveals that it is more a work of fiction than honest reporting. This will not bother Leftists because they believe that reassembling the facts to satisfy the imagination is normal enough. *It is worth noting that both books got a very favorable boost in a lengthy column by Jeffrey A Trachtenberg in the Media & Marketing section of the WSJ of 11th October, ostensibly discussing book promotion and sales. The Media Class loses no opportunity to push its own. Meanwhile, readers will look in vain for any investigative reporting on the real scandal of Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid’s land dealings. The Associated Press reporter who uncovered this bombshell and the editor who made the story public should start looking for other jobs. Clearly, neither understand that real facts have no place in a Media-ruled society.