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George Soros’s Media Matters for America: The PC Language Police Demonize Traditional Marriage

November 12, 2009

MediaMattersIsWatchingYou

‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it…Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller.’

                                                               from Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell

* * * * *

You’re a homophobic bigot if you believe there is such a thing as “traditional marriage.”

So says commissar Jamison Foser of the George Soros-backed slime factory Media Matters for America who fancies himself to be an enforcer of linguistic correctness. The more media figures listen to him, the more they will find themselves needlessly walking on eggshells.

This lexical thug who would no doubt be a fascinating psychological case study has taken it upon himself to decide which phrases you are allowed to use when discussing marriage in the battle over same-sex marriage. In the process he demonstrates his complete lack of understanding of the process of word-creation.

Foser’s argument boils down to this: traditional marriage is by definition anti-gay and hateful. Therefore, if you support traditional marriage you are a homophobic bigot worthy of ridicule and ostracism. This means you, inhabitants of the 30 or states who have chosen to define marriage traditionally.

A personal note before I deconstruct Foser’s utterly irrational argument: as someone with a foot in both the conservative and libertarian camps I am torn on the issue. I like traditional marriage as an institution and recognize that it is socially beneficial but at the same time I recognize that a nation founded upon freedom of contract can hardly deny people the ability to make contracts about their domestic relationships. An argument can be made for both forms of marriage, but that’s not the purpose of this post.

But unlike me, Foser’s not conflicted at all on the issue. He’s determined to promote his vision of marriage and smear anyone who disagrees with him, logic and reason be damned.

Incredibly, in a blog post titled “MSNBC’s Brewer adopts anti-gay rhetoric,” he faults MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer for saying this in a segment about Maine voters striking down a law allowing same-sex marriage: “And today you can add Maine to a long line of states, about 30 so far, where voters have chosen to define marriage traditionally: The union between one man and one woman.” [emphasis added]

(I couldn’t find the video Foser was referring to but in this video from Nov. 3 she uses both the phrase “same-sex marriage” and “a traditional marriage between a man and a woman.”)

Foser is shocked! Shocked!
Somehow this is “conservative framing,” Foser writes. He argues that the phrase

“Define marriage traditionally” is straight out of the anti-gay movement’s talking points. They work the phrase (and variations of it) into everything they say about the subject.

And it isn’t accurate or neutral language.

Traditional marriage isn’t “accurate” or “neutral” language? How’s that?

In the United States marriage has traditionally (i.e. by convention or custom) been between an individual man and an individual woman. This is an undeniable fact.

Some people in “the anti-gay movement” (a movement Foser doesn’t define–I suspect he really means everyone who disagrees with him on this issue) may indeed use the phrase traditional marriage or variations of it in “everything they say about the subject,” but so what?

What are we supposed to call traditional marriage? Perhaps Foser would prefer the redundant opposite-sex marriage or heterosexual marriage.

Then Foser unveils a bizarre unsubstantiated etymological conspiracy theory. He writes

It is telling that the construction “Define marriage traditionally” is a relatively new one. If you go back a decade, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many uses of it (or variations of it) in the media. A Nexis search for “marriage w/5 tradition! w/5 defin!” returns only 317 hits from prior to the past 10 years.

No, the phrase is new — cooked-up by anti-gay activists, because they know “deny gay couples the right to marry” doesn’t poll as well. So why is an MSNBC anchor adopting it?

Cooked-up by anti-gay activists? He offers no proof for his wild conjecture (and his Nexis search results don’t support his argument).

JamisonFoser

former Democratic Party propagandist Jamison Foser of Media Matters for America

Of course the phrase traditional marriage and variants of it weren’t in the vernacular years ago. Words and phrases normally aren’t created in English until there is a need for them. It is only in recent years that the idea of people of the same sex getting married to each other began to be taken seriously by Americans as a concept. (The terms polygamy, polyandry , and the pejorative bigamy all predate modern America so Americans didn’t need to invent them.)

Instead of Foser’s wacky theory, a far more likely explanation is that in an American context there was no need to differentiate between one man/one woman marriage and other manifestations of marriage until the last few years. Americans commonly understood that marriage referred to a legally recognized relationship between a man and a woman.

Now that the idea of a person of one sex marrying a person of the same sex is a popular topic of conversation, Americans commonly use the term same-sex marriage. It’s not a smear just as traditional marriage isn’t a smear.

Foser then tries both to cloud the issue and to slime people who use the phrase “traditional marriage” by bringing in racist “anti-miscegenation” laws that barred marriage and sex between opposite-sex partners of different races for much of America’s history:

It’s not like it’s accurate. It wasn’t too long ago, after all, when laws in America defined marriage as the union of one white man and one white woman, or of one black man and one black woman. That was the “traditional” definition of marriage in America, until people saw the light. Now they want you to believe marriage has always been defined the same way, so they can claim tradition is on their side. It isn’t true — but MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer parrots their rhetoric.

What exactly does Martin Luther King have to do with the push for gay marriage?

First, tradition doesn’t necessarily imply good. In fact, in some contexts (e.g. medicine, information technology, foot-binding, creating castratos) tradition implies bad. Tradition, for whatever it may be worth, is on “their” side. Second, the issue of same-sex marriage has nothing to do with inter-racial marriage. The national debate is about whether people of the same sex should be allowed to marry each other, not about the race or ethnocultural roots of the would-be marriage partners. Third, in America marriage has always been defined the same way with respect to the sex of the marriage partners. Fourth, Brewer isn’t parroting anyone’s so-called rhetoric. She’s simply expressing an idea using a widely accepted phrase. That doesn’t make her a practitioner of the “anti-gay rhetoric” referenced in the headline for Foser’s blog item.

Foser the dictionary-wielding hyper-political hit man is using a rhetorical technique to associate traditional marriage with racist laws long ago repealed. This is patently absurd. This red herring is calculated to make the well-intentioned, weak-willed, and feebleminded throw their hands in the air and surrender rather than risk being labeled a racist troglodyte by Foser.

This ugly approach is par for the course for Media Matters for America. The group is all about intimidating journalists and forcing them to toe the politically correct party line.

Headed by former journalist and confessed serial liar David Brock, the extremely well-funded Washington, D.C.-based group tied to George Soros is in business to attack conservatives. That’s all Media Matters does. It is openly partisan, a fact acknowledged even by the New York Times.

It’s worth noting that Foser also has no idea what the term “statistical insignificance” means.

I don’t claim to be an expert in statistics but I seem to know more about the subject than Foser does.

Foser mocked me personally (headline: “Smarter right-wing hacks, please”) for criticizing his lame defense of the radical advocacy group ACORN.

I took issue with his assertion that the undercover ACORN prostitution sting videos were meaningless because in his words they showed that “a statistically insignificant number” of ACORN’s low-level employees had behaved “badly.”

Either Foser doesn’t understand the concept of statistical insignificance or he threw out yet another rhetorical red herring on purpose.

I explained that in statistics a result is considered statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance.

Here's one of those statistically insignificant ACORN workers.

Was it a matter of chance that the 10 ACORN employees shown in the videos behaved badly? (It may actually be 11 if you include the person –not shown in any video — who filed the false police report about a “verbal disturbance” in Philadelphia on July 24 .)

Foser is asking people to believe that the bad behavior of the 10 ACORN employees shown in the video is a fluke. Foser is arguing that there were only a few bad apples in ACORN and they just happened to stumble in front of James O’Keefe’s hidden camera.

That’s ridiculous.

Then there’s Foser’s argument that we can’t know whether the sample of 10 employees is significant because O’Keefe and his fellow reporter Hannah Giles may be withholding other videos that don’t show ACORN employees behaving badly.

Even if O’Keefe shot other videos showing 10 different ACORN employees behaving well, the on-camera examples of ACORN employees behaving badly would still be statistically significant because the data are unlikely to have occurred by chance.

Media Matters can’t come up with anything substantive to say about its client, ACORN, so it’s engaging in nitpicking and misdirection.

The most valid observation Foser could come up with was his comment that I should have expressed “a thousand,” as in the baseball aphorism “batting a thousand” as “1.000” instead of as “1000.”

My bad, but that’s the best Foser, formerly research director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), could do.

That’s the Media Matters way: obscure the real issues with little sideshows.

Foser also feigned outrage at my characterization of his venomous writings on liberal talk show host Chris Matthews of MSNBC whom he considers a traitor to the left because he said a few nice things about George W. Bush — one of which was that Bush seemed like a nice guy. At Media Matters you’re not even allowed to like a political adversary on a personal level. Vilification is required.

Foser accuses me of putting words in his mouth. I didn’t — but if I had it would probably be an improvement over the drivel he normally writes.

(For more on Media Matters, read my Townhall magazine profile of the group.)

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11 Comments
  1. John Redman permalink
    November 12, 2009 11:04 am

    This is an interesting article in many ways but misses some key points. First, this nation was not founded upon an unqualified right to make domestic contracts. They must be based upon the Christian morality which gives the legitimacy of truth to our social and legal foundations. Altering these foundations is perilous and any number of people in our society are constantly trying to excuse their personal behavior by doing just that very thing. The point is not to waste time trying to untangle the insane logic of the the left but rather to constantly spend time taking direct action to defeat them , not their words.

    I once read that we should never wrestle with a pig because we only get dirty and the pig loves it, this also applies to idiots and perverts.

  2. November 12, 2009 11:51 am

    The Townhall profile of Media Matters Vadum promotes above is quite error-ridden:

    http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/1905212/vadum-swings-misses-again-in-attack-on-media-matters/

    • Matthew Vadum permalink
      November 12, 2009 12:27 pm

      Dear Media Matters for America paid staffer Terry Krepel:

      Give it up. The only thing that was incorrect in my Townhall profile was that Eric Alterman had left Media Matters at the time the article was written. Big deal. He had worked there a short time before. This is the kind of sophistry your scummy organization thrives on.

      You’re a liar and a weasel and so is your dyslexic co-worker Eric Boehlert. Go find some more ACORN scandals to cover up and some more SEIU goons to support.

      Hugs and kisses,

      Matthew

      • F. Swemson permalink
        November 12, 2009 3:23 pm

        Way to go Matthew !

      • November 13, 2009 4:24 pm

        Actually, Matthew, as I documented, you also falsely claimed that George Soros funds Media Matters, took quotes out of context to falsely portray them, and ignored evidence that contradicted your arguments. If you think that’s solid, respectable research, far be it from me to dissuade you — it only makes you and the Capital Research Center look mean and incompetent.

        Have you issued any corrections of the numerous errors and misstatements in your Townhall article, even of the one about Alterman? I’m willing to bet you haven’t.

        Oh, and detail an instance where I have lied. (Hint: You can’t.)

        It’s too bad that you feel you must resort to insulting me rather than make a logical argument. That reflects badly on you and your employer as well.

        • In the Know permalink
          November 16, 2009 7:28 am

          Terry wrote-
          “Actually, Matthew, as I documented, you also falsely claimed that George Soros funds Media Matters…”

          Again we see the same old semantics game. Terry, just because your check is not signed by the master of the western leftist universe, does not mean the gobs of money that fund your evil enterprise didn’t originate with the dark lord himself.

          • Mac permalink
            November 27, 2009 2:38 am

            You can tell a leftist is lying by the fact that his lips are moving….I love the denial……

            “This is just another way of falsely suggesting that Soros ‘DIRECTLY’ donates to Media Matters when Vadum knows very well he hasn’t.”

            Hoping one won’t look past that false denial and question how much Soros ‘INDIRECTLY’ funds Media Matters……..hmmmmmm…….lying liars indeed!

          • Carterthewriter permalink
            November 27, 2009 5:04 am

            Terry needs a job real bad and the only one he’s qualified for requires no reasearch skills.

  3. John Davidson permalink
    November 12, 2009 11:55 am

    “One nation under God’ is our motto and it does not refer to anyone roaming around in Washington, either.

    From one John to another, excellant post, sir!

  4. politicalmoxie permalink
    November 13, 2009 3:03 am

    To Matthew Vadum,

    This article & comment are so you. If someone put them in front of me and asked who penned these, without hesitation, I’d say Vadum. I laughed out loud three times, thanks.

  5. peachey permalink
    November 13, 2009 12:10 pm

    Matthew,
    Thanks for the continuing entertainment. Whenever I read anything on the blog with Media Matters involved, I know that I will have a good laugh. I am not sure that Terry will be able to respond. Here in California there is a apparently a chance that Jerry Brown’s (the AG) office has been cahooting around with ACORN. It appears that ACORN has been given a thumbs up and a “don’t worry” slap on the back from the AG office. Time will tell how this will play out as the truth comes out for review by the public. Meanwhile Terry and the rest of the buffoons at Media Matters are scrambling to hide and obscure this apparent continuing ACORN saga.If this is true, I really do hope that the American public raise holy hell and demand resignations and prosecutions.

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