LETTER: Contemporary media numbs American minds

Many members of the media – slowly becoming nothing more than superficial, market-driven commentators – are reaching new heights of distortion and hypocrisy.

Although this is not limited to the extreme right, on Sept. 12, conservative pundit Glenn Beck fanned the fires of pro-American military hysteria, ridiculing director Brian De Palma and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in their respective anti-war efforts.

De Palma was ridiculed for making a movie focusing on American soldiers who killed a young girl. Beck asserted the movie was needlessly putting our soldiers at increased risk and promoting the enemy. Beck was doubly enraged by Kucinich’s recent interviews in Syria, where Kucinich explicitly expressed his anti-war sentiments for the rest of the world to see.

Suffice it to say, Beck represents a larger pattern in the supposed defense of the war in Iraq. During his opinionated bantering, he consistently glossed over the dividing lines between anti-war and anti-soldier. He seamlessly blended De Palma’s movie and Kucinich’s sentiments into a distorted, unfounded and meaningless perspective, suitable only to the lowest forms of intelligence.

Beck chastises those who exploit the horrid acts of a fraction of American soldiers, decrying them as evidence of what he suggests is a rabid, anti-American, terrorist-supporting fever, all the while lashing out at the entire Democratic Party for the actions of one lowly presidential candidate from Ohio. He promotes the very divisiveness that he claims is so driven by those who do not agree with his cloudy views, all the while turning his head to a fundamental virtue of public speaking: the decency to closely examine one’s assertions and appropriately support them.

Heaven forbid Kucinich should represent the beliefs of most of the American population!

Inexcusably, our generation has seemingly become content with the replacement of knowledge with shallow, sensationalized opinion, literally destroying the potential for a healthy and rigorous American consciousness. It seems the cultural paradigm reduces to this: an over-reliance on the superfluous belief that everyone’s entitlement to opinion translates into intelligent and meaningful debate.

Gabe Henderson

Graduate student