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Friday, August 24, 2007

The CNN/Amanpour trifecta

Once I read Seraphic Secret's account of Part 3 of CNN's Moral Equivalence Festival, I realized that I had to read the transcript for myself and join the party.

"Now, God's Christian warriors -- the religious right in America."

Even though we knew this is what the Christian part would be about, it is still amazing to think that the honchos at CNN cannot see a gaping, huge, gigantic difference between the Taliban and Jerry Falwell.

Would it even be conceivable that CNN would mention the Christian Phalangists who massacred Palestinian Arabs in Sabra and Shatila as examples of "Christian warriors?" Because, you know, they actually committed mass murder?
AMANPOUR: And from the beginning, there was controversy...

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Go home! Go home!

AMANPOUR: ...as Falwell thrust religion into politics. His mission was to change America.
Hate to break it to ya, Christiane, but the Founding Fathers invoked God a hell of a lot as well. Perhaps it was people like Amanpour who changed America?
Dorms are either male or female. At this Liberty, there is no freedom to go astray.
Damn - just like the Taliban!
AMANPOUR: Suddenly, conservative Christians had become a political force...
Just like the Taliban!
AMANPOUR: This bombing at a Birmingham clinic killed a police guard. In the mid '90s, from Boston to Florida, angry zealots murdered seven people -- three of them doctors. The violence not only frightened a number of abortion clinics into closing, it also caused a public backlash.
This is the crux of the show. Two hours about seven deaths. The rest is just filler because, since CNN can't do a special of more than two hours and that's what they had to give the Muslim "warriors" in order to pack mention of some 0.2% of Muslim terrorist deaths in that time period, they have to of course give two hours to each other major religion. Amanpour is itching to talk about these admittedly horrific murders because, to her, people who aren't feminist secularists are indistinguishable from the Taliban.

She's not after a body count - that's too crass. The underlying philosophy is just the same - don't you see it? Are you blind?
AMANPOUR: And so the courts became the new battleground over the unborn. But year after year, the religious right lost every Supreme Court decision on abortion. Falwell and others were determined to reverse that, using their political clout to make sure new justices passed the Christian conservative abortion litmus test.
So secularists who vote for those who are pro-abortion and who will help pro-abortion Supreme Court justices are OK. But if you are on the other side of the political process using the exact same litmus test, it is Evil.
AMANPOUR: At issue -- the public display of the Ten Commandments inside a county courthouse. Staver lost in a 5-4 ruling.

But there's nothing in the bible that would say to Staver thou shalt not litigate again. And so, way down on the Suwannee River, Dixie County, Florida has become the dean's new battleground over the Ten Commandments.

This six-ton granite monument carved by the local gravestone salesman sits on the courthouse steps. It is a clear example of what the Supreme Court has disallowed -- a standalone monument on government property with an obvious religious message -- love God and keep his commandments.
Evidently, Amanpour has never actually read the Ten Commandments.
AMANPOUR: The Supreme Court has become ground zero in this combat between law and religion -- the final word on God's place in public life.
Evidently, despite her eight months of research on religion, she still doesn't understand that at least two of her major religions are actually based on legal mechanisms. She is saying that law is automatically opposed to religion and vice-versa - an astonishingly stupid statement.

But let's cut her a little slack. She has two hours to kill.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): "In God We Trust" is part of the American dialogue. And yet, the religious right would have you believe there's no mention of God anywhere in our public sphere. It's on the currency.
...But they also play the victim somewhat. Are they victimized?
This show sort of proves it!

Next comes an entire section dealing with John Hagee, who is not only a devout Christian, which is obscene enough, but he also supports Israel! How far from the CNN studios can you get?

The rest of the show is really, really boring. Stuff about creationism, politics, who knows what.

And then comes this:
AMANPOUR: On campus, students must follow a strict set of rules.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning.

AMANPOUR: No secular music or television. No "R"-rated movies. No alcohol. No drugs. No dating.

(on camera) When I, you know, read that women have to wear skirts of a certain length. And guys aren't allowed to, you know, go on the Internet, unsupervised. And I think, you know, totalitarian regimes.

LUCE: No. It's about learning to have disciplines that communicate purity. You know? The skirts' length are to keep guys from -- you know, any man on the planet can be distracted. And we don't want to unintentionally create distraction.

AMANPOUR: But, Ron, that's what the Taliban said.
So she is comparing a private college, where people go voluntarily and submit to the rules voluntarily, with - of course - the Taliban!

As I mentioned in my commentary on part 2, Amanpour puts all religions together as equally evil and threatening. Not so much for their actions as to what they believe - that's what threatens her. She is so insecure in her own beliefs that she treats those who believe differently as a mortal threat, and she cannot distinguish at all between religions.

Her vapidity is all there in black and white, thanks to CNN Transcripts!