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Home/Rod Dreher/Annals Of Media Gaslighting: Gender Queer Edition

Annals Of Media Gaslighting: Gender Queer Edition

An innocent tale for teens, according to NPR, which didn't talk about the graphic fellatio, the masturbation discussion, and more (Source)

Last week, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial provided us with yet another real time example of the difference between reality and the way the mainstream media construes reality. If you watched any of the trial proceedings, you would know that what happened there, and what many in the media said happened there, were not the same thing. I don’t believe the media are consciously lying, though perhaps I’m being charitable. I believe that most journalists are so sold out to their own narrow and biased way of seeing the world that they cannot imagine that they could be wrong about anything.

This week it was Rittenhouse. Last week, and in the previous weeks, it has been the refusal of the MSM to deal with the reality of race radicalism being mainstreamed in public schools. Today I want to talk about the lies that the NPR show 1A told in an effort to shield from scrutiny and criticism a book that has been targeted by some angry parents, who want to know what the hell it is doing on the shelves of their kids’ school library.

The book is Gender Queer, a graphic memoir by a woman who is now … well, I don’t know. Genderqueer. It’s about her transition away from what she was born into whatever she identifies as now. 1A recently spent time talking to the author, Maia Kobabe, and deploring the bigots who attempt to get the book removed from schools.

On the web page for the interview, 1A displays several pages from Gender Queer. Take a look at them; they’re relatively innocent.  I mean, a conservative like me doesn’t think there’s a place for any of this in a school library, but I can imagine someone who is more moderate looking at the examples in the 1A story and thinking that conservatives are making a big deal about nothing. Which, of course, is what NPR wants you to think.

You know which images from Gender Queer 1A did not show its listeners? These (I’ve altered the first one, for obvious reasons):

You get the idea. If NPR’s 1A had been interested in actually informing its viewers about the controversy, it would have shown one or two of these images along with the more sedate ones. But this is not about informing listeners; this is about manufacturing consent to progressive radicalization. In other words, this is propaganda.

Let me be clear: I don’t object at all to Kobabe and these other authors coming on the program to give their side to the story. What I greatly object to is the de facto lying by NPR about the nature of the controversy involving that particular book. The governor of South Carolina has ordered an investigation to find out how that pornographic book made it onto high school library shelves there. If you depend on NPR to tell you why the book offends people, you would not understand the controversy at all.

This is how NPR rolls these days. As longtime readers know, I have long been a booster of NPR, even though it has been generally opposed to my own politics and cultural sensibilities. I used to appreciate its reporting, and I almost always found interesting things to listen to on the network. But since the Trump years, the Great Awokening swept through NPR, and now it seems that every other story talks about identity politics in one form or another. If you spent an afternoon listening to NPR and playing a drinking game in which you slammed a shot every time the network referred to race, gender, sexuality or immigration, you would be passed out before teatime.

I wonder, though, how many people who listen to and financially support NPR realize how inaccurate the picture of the world NPR’s journalism can be. It seems to me that if I wanted to defend the presence of queer books in public school libraries, I would want to know what, precisely, parents were objecting to. Trust me, the way 1A handled the Gender Queer story is more and more common whenever NPR’s news reporting intersects with wokeness. It’s as if the newsroom there simply cannot bring itself to imagine a world of people outside its bubble.

I see NPR, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and other mainstream media as engaged in an active attempt to render people like me into hate figures, and to convince people that we have no case for our views. The Times and the Post, though, do not depend on money from the pockets of people they demonize. NPR? From NPR’s website:

Why do taxpayers continue to subsidize dishonest journalism that demonizes so many of us? This is a question it would be good for the Congress to take up the next time Republicans are in the majority. The issue of NPR funding has come up over and over for all my journalism career. I have always spoken out against conservatives who want to defund NPR, because I have really loved NPR over the years, have friends who work there, and have cherished it. Some years back, NPR welcomed me and my daughter for a tour of headquarters. I’m very grateful to them for their kindness. I hate where I’ve landed re: NPR. I feel so bitterly about this issue because I loved NPR so much as it once was. It used to be a significant part of my life. But you get to the point where you realize that these people honestly can’t stand folks like you, and don’t want to treat you with fairness and respect, even within their generally liberal reporting agenda. Which is what NPR always had — but I long believed that NPR, though liberal, tried to be fair, and I respected and appreciated that. I wonder if the easing out through retirement of older NPR journalists, and the rise of young radicals to replace them — young reporters who believe that seeking fairness and objectivity is to aid and abet evil conservatives — is to blame.

Believe me, I’m not singling out NPR. They all do it. I guess it bothers me more about NPR because I feel like I’ve lost an old friend.

Andrew Sullivan wrote on his Friday Substack about all the recent MSM fails.Rittenhouse. The Covington Catholic boys. Russiagate — and several more.

We all get things wrong. What makes this more worrying is simply that all these false narratives just happen to favor the interests of the left and the Democratic party. And corrections, when they occur, take up a fraction of the space of the original falsehoods. These are not randos tweeting false rumors. They are the established press.

And at some point, you wonder: what narrative are they pushing now that is also bullshit? One comes to mind: the assurance that the insane amount of debt we have incurred this century is absolutely nothing to be concerned about because interest rates are super-low and borrowing more and more now is a no-brainer. But when inflation spikes and sets off a potential spiral in wages to catch up, will interest rates stay so quiescent? And if interest rates go up, how will we service the debt so easily?

I still rely on the MSM for so much. I still read the NYT first thing in the morning. I don’t want to feel as if everything I read is basically tilted through wish-fulfillment, narrative-proving, and ideology. But with this kind of record, how can I not?

 

 

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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