Legacy media remind me of that line from the Bridget Jones’s Diary movie, “Introduce people with helpful details…”
It is a practice meant to contextualise the company on offer. While it is used to comedic effect in the movie, the press employ it as a means of negatively colouring public figures without having to provide anything more substantial than Chinese Whispers.
In essence, it is the art of cancelling someone without having to address the facts of their argument. Only intellectual lightweights and merit-less hacks construct their articles around a ‘guilt by association’ narrative. It’s like watching them use the Six-Degrees-Of-Kevin-Bacon meme as serious journalism.
Whenever the media are begrudgingly forced to write about their political opponents, they do so by first lubricating articles with unrelated tidbits. These references are usually obscure. It could be that someone made the universal symbol for ‘okay’. They were at a party with a controversial figure. Maybe they’ve interviewed someone outrageous or made a joke that can be taken out of context. Imagine if you could be crucified because a provocateur shops at the same supermarket as you… That’s the low bar we are working with.
We are so used to the press tainting people in this way that the behaviour has slipped into the realm of subliminal brainwashing. The best contemporary example regards Republican President Donald Trump and his treatment by the oligarchy of the Democrat controlled Fake News Networks. (See how easy it is?)
Trump is frequently called a ‘Nazi’ and a ‘fascist’ in print and onscreen by mainstream publications and allegedly serious journalists – which is hilarious because as a free market, democracy-loving, conservative businessman with a passion free speech and small government, he is about as far from National Socialism and Union Syndicalism (Fascism) as it is possible to get without dipping your toe into anarchy. The defamatory labels that they toss around are simply wrong. Instead of being embarrassed by their political illiteracy, journalists repeat each other’s errors as if caught up in religious mantra.
Being wrong suits the fragile narrative that they are trying to sell, and no one is immune to their pathetic antics.
The Church and State Summit, which was held several months ago, riled up the usual hacks. Christians on the right entering politics? Oh no! Christians are only allowed into the political sphere if they have first declared their allegiance to cherished Marxist causes. It is a bit like Communist China where the State allows Christians to exist so long as they – you know – don’t do anything Christian and promise to worship the church of Xi Jinping.
Finding out that there is a rogue group of Christians organising themselves into a modest political movement is something that the left feel a duty to crush immediately in case their ‘tame Christians’ realise how far they have strayed from their core beliefs. Progressive (regressive?) Marxism is hardly the sort of lifestyle you would expect to see filling the pews on a Sunday morning.
When covering the summit, Sydney Morning Herald reporter Michael Koziol introduced the Good Sauce’s Dave Pellowe like this:
“Conference convener Dave Pellowe, who once appeared in an infamous selfie with members of the neo-fascist Proud Boys group.”
…the suggestion being that because someone took a selfie they must immediately absorb, condone, and actively endorse the other person’s politics. This is false. Journalists know that it is false and yet still put it to print for the purpose of character assassination.
It is cheap and nasty trick, which is why you don’t find conservative commentators starting every article with, ‘The Labor Party, who boast five convicted paedophiles among their ranks and are associated with race-supremacist Marxist groups and a Union movement with a history of abuse and intimidation, have today picked a man alleged to have raped a woman as their party leader.’
In the case of the Sydney Morning Herald article about the Church and State Summit, the point was to sensationalise this out of context quote taken from Pellowe, “We’re not advocating violence or revolution … today,” which was said in the spirit of theatre, not incitement.
When you joke with your mates that you are ‘literally going to kill them’ after they pull a prank, would they call the police to report a threat? No. Nor would you write a whole article pretending that it was in any way a serious comment – unless you want to look like an idiot.
Unlike left-wing activists, the Christian right are not storming the streets with racist slogans, desecrating cultural heritage, defacing war memorials, looting Nike stores, and damaging public buildings. A quiet little weekend of speeches with a few prayers thrown in is not a horror story, so journalists are forced to dress it up otherwise their article would simply read, ‘Some religious people got together and talked about exercising their democratic right to involve themselves in politics.’
It doesn’t really scream ‘click-bait’ – does it?
This idea of guilt by association is prominent on the left – not because they agree with its claims (they don’t) but because it is a useful tool to silence political opposition.
How do I know that they don’t really agree with it? Because they are unable to apply its rules equally either to a situation or to themselves.
I am frequently presented with the same accusation by activists on Twitter. If I appeared in an interview on a platform they don’t like, well, that must make me far-right. To this, I simply turn around and point out that I spend 99% of my time on Twitter, therefore I must be a far-left Marxist shill. Using their rules, it is the only reasonable assumption to make given that Twitter is the golden child of Silicon Valley collectivism.
If the accuser manages to pick their jaw up off the ground, I follow up with the logical conclusion that they must be far-right for engaging in a conversation with me in the first place. After all, that’s how it works, right? If you appear near someone you automatically copy-paste their politics into your hard drive. I mean, their user icon is right next to mine – that’s practically a selfie.
One of the worst offenders of crap journalism comes from the Sydney Criminal Lawyers, who wrote an article last week titled, ‘Duel Citizens of Australia and the Kingdom of God’. In it, Paul Gregoire – who regularly prints garbage – tried to link The Good Sauce with the National Socialist Network based upon – uh – nothing other than his sick imagination.
“Pellowe has been caught in the past taking a selfie with members of white nationalist group the Proud Boys. And he’s the editor of The Good Sauce website, which, on a perusal of its articles, looks like it would appeal to the National Socialist Network and former Senator Fraser Anning.”
What is a criminal law firm doing running an extremist, far-left activist blog? Who knows, but if we’re going to buy into the whole ‘guilt by platform association’ they make a great case for never employing their services.
Politicising law is the beginning of the end for democracy. It breaks the fundamental separation where law is meant to act independently and without prejudice for every citizen. Publishing a blog like that makes their outfit look like activism piggybacking on law for political vanity. I am not saying that they are – only that they’re taking a selfie with a political movement that killed more people than any other philosophy in history.
Maybe journalists behave this way because they fear for their own weakness of character. It is possible that they lack an ounce of independent thought and will affix themselves to the nearest surface if offered a gluestick.
For everyone else, that is not how discourse works. Refusing to talk to each other is exactly how a society becomes radicalised. Incidentally, this is actually the point of Marxism. It is trying to manufacture disaffected, angry, fringe groups of youths who hate each other enough to overthrow democracy and replace it with a dictatorship.
No wonder they come after the Christians. The mantra of love and forgiveness works against everything the left are trying to promote. Cultural figures like Pellowe are traditionalists who see the incursion of collectivism into society as dangerous. The loss of our wholesome values, family unions, cultural heritage, faith, and aspiration for a peaceful and ethical society is something that we should all worry about.
Personally, I am not religious. As far as I am concerned, I do not want religion anywhere near political power – but I’m also not about to pretend that the Christian right are a malevolent force. When other religious groups assert themselves in politics, the left cheer.
That is because the left see religion as a social identity – a voting block to be exploited. The Christian right are a political threat, and those who attack them do so purely with the next election in mind.
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Alexandra Marshall (@ellymelly on social media) is the host of "Curtain Call", a Good Sauce show exploring the leading personalities in the culture war. She writes on liberty, philosophy and geopolitics. You can find her on Twitter or read her articles over at her blog.
Elly is also an AI database designer for the retail industry, contributor to multiple online journals and a Young Ambassador with Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.
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