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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 12, 2006 / 19 Elul, 5766

Cheap shot journalism

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recently one of those increasingly familiar New York Times editorials disguised as news stories was headlined "Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa."


There was a chart with photos of people from conservative think tanks saying things favorable to Wal-Mart's side of the controversies surrounding that company, along with dollar amounts over them and their statements, indicating how much Wal-Mart had donated to the think tanks where these individuals work.


Buried deep inside the story, near the end, there was a passing comment that "labor unions have financed organizations that have been critical of Wal-Mart." But there were no people or statements singled out with dollar amounts over them.


The double standard was evident in another way: The damning charge was that these conservative think tanks and the scholars who work there "have consistently failed to disclose their ties" to Wal-Mart.


There was no charge that liberal think tanks like the Brookings Institution, or the scholars there, "failed to disclose their ties" to their donors.


It is very doubtful if most of the scholars at either liberal or conservative think tanks know who all the many donors to these institutions are — or care.


For one thing, there is money coming from all points of the political compass and from a whole spectrum of special interest groups. You can say whatever you feel like and, if it doesn't suit one think tank, it will suit another.


It so happens that I work for a think tank, though not one mentioned in this New York Times "news" story, and I could not name five donors to the Hoover Institution if my life depended on it, though I am sure that there are far more than five.


For all I know, I may have defended some of those unknown donors — or I may have bitten the hand that feeds me by attacking them in this column.


It is by no means unknown for different scholars at the Hoover Institution to come out publicly on opposite sides of controversies. Nor is that unknown at other think tanks, liberal or conservative.


Why then should we "disclose" — even if we knew — who the donors are, as if we were delivering commercials for our sponsors?


Why do conservative donors contribute money to conservative think tanks or liberal donors contribute money to liberal think tanks? Is it rocket science that people are more likely to contribute money to those they agree with?


Or is it something sinister, as the New York Times implies — at least when the think tank is conservative?


Such cheap-shot journalism tells us more about the people who engage in it, and the constituency to which they appeal, than it tells us about those they write about.


What it tells us is that there are people so narrow and shallow that they cannot understand how anyone else could possibly disagree with what they believe without having sold out.


Somehow such journalists, or those that they appeal to, believe that they are so iron-clad right that no one could even mistakenly disagree with them without being bought and paid for by the bad guys.


Are we talking world-class chutzpa or what?


The self-infatuated idea that nobody could disagree with you for honest and informed reasons is far more dangerous than any influence that donors' money may exercise.


Far more is involved here than cheap-shot journalism. It is the audience for such journalism that is the real concern.


Our whole educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities, is increasingly turning out people who have never heard enough conflicting arguments to develop the skills and discipline required to produce a coherent analysis, based on logic and evidence.


The implications of having so many people so incapable of confronting opposing arguments with anything besides ad hominem responses reach far beyond Wal-Mart or think tanks. It is in fact the Achilles heel of this generation of our society and of Western civilization.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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