Sunday, December 14, 2008

Context Is The Devil

I love NewsBusters, the website that can find conservative bias in the alphabet. There's so much stupidity on the site that I don't usually bother writing about it. But here's a perfect illustration from contributor Tom Blumer, who apparently has unlimited access to a computer at the halfway house.

Blumer chides an Associated Press reporter for mentioning a Focus on the Family presentation at Sharia Plain's wingnut church in an article about a suspected arson fire at the church. Key simpering point: "D'Oro had to work hard to get the Focus on the Family dig in. As would be expected, Greg Johnson's coverage at the local Frontiersman said nothing about the Sunday bulletin ad, nor did the lengthier coverage at the Anchorage Daily News. Of course not: It has no relevance to the story."

And here's the reference:

..... Palin, who was not at the church at the time of the fire, stopped by Saturday. Her spokesman, Bill McAllister, said in a statement that Palin told an assistant pastor she was sorry if the fire was connected to the "undeserved negative attention" the church has received since she became the vice presidential candidate Aug. 29.

"Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good," McAllister said.

The 1,000-member evangelical church was the subject of intense scrutiny after Palin was named John McCain's running mate. Early in Palin's campaign, the church was criticized for promoting in a Sunday bulletin a Focus on the Family "Love Won Out Conference" in Anchorage. The conference promised to "help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome.

Do I need to spell out the relevance of the reference to anyone that was able to turn on a computer?

If I had been the A.P. reporter, I would have simply stated that "No evidence exists that the fire was the result of attention from Palin's campaign, and Palin and her spokesman are scumbags for portraying Palin as a victim." The reporter also could have pointed out plenty of other wingnut goings on at the church which came up in the campaign. But for Blumer to claim that the final paragraph was not necessary to put the Palin stooge's remark into context shows only that Blumer's road to mental recovery will be longer than the Al-Can Highway.

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