New Journalists Lack Moral Clarity

Journalists are responsible for presenting the news of the day to ordinary citizens. Their requirements include objectivity and analysis. However, they are also expected to understand the difference between a mass-murderer who espouses a form of global slavery and an elected leader of the freest country on Earth. Unfortunately, it appears that Ryan Yeomans, of the Central Connecticut State University does not have that understanding. Writing today in the opinion pages of The Recorder, Central Connecticut State's college newspaper, Yeomans states,

As of late, if you were to bring up the president in a discussion you would find that many Americans disapprove of the decisions he has made. At the same time, Osama bin Laden presents many good arguments against the president and many of his reasons for disapproving of Bush are similar to those of anti-Bush Americans. Would it be wrong to assume that there is some kind of connection between feelings of the American people and those of Osama bin Laden? As I would love to make this connection, I ultimately cannot because of the actions of our president. If I were to say I agree with bin Laden, that would mean that I agree with a terrorist; under the Patriot Act, I could be labeled a potential terrorist and my phone could be tapped, and every move I make could be watched and analyzed.

In finding myself in this predicament, I questioned myself as to who the lesser evil actually is. I ask, “Who has done more damage to the lives of the American people?” Personally, I worry more about the next bad decision Bush is going to make than I worry about a potential Osama bin Laden organized terrorist attack.

One thing I have realized from these videos is that while Osama bin Laden remains free, Americans are slowly becoming bound by the decisions of the president to remove and restrict the rights given to us by our knowledgeable forefathers, without whom we would not be here. I can only hope that Americans will open their eyes and see what is in front of them, in order to prevent things from getting out of hand any further.

This writer displays such a lack of common sense that it is difficult to know where to start deconstructing. Let's take his statement that "Americans are slowly becoming bound by the decisions of the president to remove and restrict the rights given us by our knowledgeable forefathers". Mr. Yeomans, precisely what rights has the president removed from American citizens? I cannot think of a single right enumerated in the Constitution that Mr. Bush has either removed or restricted. In fact, the courts have created new rights for our enemies that have never existed previously, such as access to the US court system.

Yeomans also complains that although he agrees with bin Laden, "If I were to say I agree with bin Laden, that would mean that I agree with a terrorist; under the Patriot Act, I could be labeled a potential terrorist and my phone could be tapped, and every move I make could be watched and analyzed." Well, actually no. Free speech is protected, though advocating the assassination or other violence against the president is a federal crime and has been since long before the Bush Administration. I have not noticed any anti-war/pro-Islamic protestors being placed in prison for speaking their minds, and certainly the MoveOn.org folks who masterminded the 'Bush-as-Hitler' campaign are still free. If Mr. Yeomans were communicating with foreign nationals connected to terror via international phone calls, then yes, those calls could be and probably should be tapped. But tapping domestic calls (those are calls with both ends within the United States, as opposed to international calls, which have at least one end in a foreign country) require a warrant- no matter how many Democratic talking points bin Laden parrots.

However, the most startling aspect of this opinion piece is the complete lack of understanding betrayed by the writer. This is someone who will be entering the journalistic world and will be responsible for portraying the news to his fellow Americans. Yet, he displays the most astonishing lack of ability to differentiate between an elected leader who is bound (and who has followed) the law, and who has two other branches of the government overseeing him as well, and an unelected terrorist who wants a global Islamic caliphate, containing no rights whatsoever for non-Muslims. A leader who masterminded the attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed over three thousand American citizens. And Yeomans appears to be ignorant of how bin Laden's videos have increasingly adopted Democratic Party talking points, as he tries to elect a party that would be much easier to defeat than the current Adminstration.

It used to be that college students were taught the difference between murderous barbarians such as bin Laden and elective republics such as we. There is a difference between forces that refuse to wear uniforms, who hide amongst civilians and who behead and torture their enemies (the Muslims) as opposed to a society that adheres to a rule of law, wears uniforms, fights under a flag, and who actually provides their captives with food, Korans and exercise (the United States)- none of which privileges are granted to those unfortunate enough to fall into the hands of the Islamists. Mr. Yeomans has an understanding neither of history, which provides the context for bin Laden and his allies, nor for the proper use of force, which is often the only resort against aggression such as that espoused by bin Laden and his allies. Proper use of force saved Europe from Islamic aggression many times, beginning in 732 at the battle of Tours, and most recently in 1683 in the siege of Vienna.

If Mr. Yeomans is the future of American journalism, then American journalism has fallen a long way since the days of Ernie Pyle. Cross-posted on StoneHeads.