June 16, 2010

Prop. 8 Ate Prop

Hatched by Dafydd

A funny thing happened on the way to the newsstand: The New York Times -- a.k.a., "America's newpaper of wreckage," whose slogan is, "All the news we see fit to print!" -- published a news article about closing arguments in the federal lawsuit to overturn California's Proposition 8, enshrining traditional marriage in the state constitution... and the newspaper actually forgot to include the usual flimsy mask of "even-handedness," the prop they customarily use to disguise the fact that they have but a single (left) leg to stand on.

In fact, they forgot there was another side to the issue at all, at all. It must be read to be believed.

Generally, as the paper hopes to appear slightly less biased than San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, the writer interviews a couple of sources on the opposite side of a liberal shibboleth like same-sex marriage (SSM). However reluctant and half-hearted such "balance" may be, the editors nevertheless feel a faint obligation to act as something other than a paid shill for the Democratic Party and the hard Left. Or at least to leave that impression.

I have long suspected that such tepid gestures of recognition -- like a little kid told he must kiss Great-Aunt Gruesome -- are rarely found in the original version of the story as it comes from the putative reporter, but are added later, a line here, a word there, by the editorial staff as a sop to the 50% of the country that leans more right than left. (Rather like the disclaimers, read at lightning speed and complete incoherence, at the end of a used-car radio commercial.)

Now at last, I think we have some proof; because in this case, somebody omitted that final pre-publication step. Read the so-called "news" article linked above. Remember, this is not an opinion piece; it masquerades as straight reporting, no pun intended. In the piece, the Times turns its celebratory spotlight on the following burning issues:

  • The heroic pro-SSM protesters with their omnipresent pre-printed signs;
  • The tear-jerker plaintiffs -- "All we’ve asked the court to do is make sure that we’re protected under our Constitution, like every other American!"
  • The powerhouse attorneys on the side of America, the People, Decency, Gaea, and L*O*V*E -- the pro-SSM crowd hired both David Boies and Ted Olson, the two attorneys who represented Algore and George W. Bush respectively in the former's attempt to sue his way into the White House;
  • The "several dozen questions" asked by the judge, especially "about the supposed harm of allowing same-sex marriages as well as the government’s interest in forbidding them;"

(Do we start to get the feeling that in this trial, there is no defendant? That the case comprises two brave, loving, gay couples, their attorneys, and the judge -- all facing off against an empty table?)

  • The fact that today's arguments take place on a lucky and auspicious date: the second anniversary of the California Supreme Court's decision striking down Proposition 22, the previous version of Prop. 8 -- "when hundreds of same-sex couples were married in California at the start of a five-month period when such unions were legal in the state."

    Proposition 8 ended those marriages, though the California Supreme Court ruled in May 2009 that the 18,000 or so marriages performed in the five-month period were still valid.

    Those big conservative bullies!

  • And... oh, wait; we almost forgot: The defendants' attorneys made a couple of points, but they were really stupid, so let's not get into it.

There is literally only a single sentence in the entire piece that even so much as mentions that there is another side in this lawsuit; that defendants' table isn't utterly empty. Read slowly; if you blink, you'll miss it:

Arguments in the trial -- presided over by Judge Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco -- began in early January, and included two weeks of evidence and testimony by advocates for same-sex marriage. The defense offered a much more limited testimony, with two witnesses arguing -- among other points -- that same-sex marriage damages traditional marriage as an institution and that special judicial protections were unnecessary for gay people.

There you go! Other than that squib, there's nothing in the story to indicate that there even is another side; one presumes that to the editorial board of the New York Times, this is literally true: It's not that the pro-traditional marriage arguments are unpersuasive, illogical, or even disingenuous; rather, pro-traditional marriage arguments simply do not exist -- just as there is no argument for repealing the law of gravity or demanding that light propagate at twice the speed of light.

My guess is that Times editors cannot see liberal bias for the same reason that fish cannot see water. And like an aquarium of talking fish-heads, if you take these "journalists" out of their liberal ecosphere, they will flop about desperately until they suffocate to death.

So here's my slogan: Save a forest -- bankrupt the Times!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 16, 2010, at the time of 4:22 PM

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