Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rightwing Roundup: Fun in the Townhall Echo Chamber

Sit back and relax, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for a edition of Rightwing Roundup.

1. "Deep Thoughts" With Professor Adams

How does one know that one is preaching to an anti-gay choir?

When one can "write" an article by merely posting the job description for a LGBTQQ Community Coordinator, with little commentary of one's own, because the inanity of it all supposedly just speaks for itself.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure Mike Adams just got paid to copy and paste a job description and pretend to apply for it in order to entertain his like-minded readership. Is the silliness of a gay-friendly position at a university really just self-evident to all people? Was the professor too busy to write a real column? Can some people really find nothing else to "critique" in the world other than long gay acronyms?

Unfortunately, Professor Adams is a bit late to the party if he thinks he's the first person to find humor in the LGBTQQLMNOP-bit. The thing about we overly-sensitive politically correct gays is that we find humor in mocking ourselves. The thing about loving, Christian conservatives is that they seem to most often find humor in mocking other people.

2. Klassy Christian Criticism

A loving, Christian fellow by the name of John Hawkins has offered some "constructive criticism" in his article entitled "A 'You Suck' List." In this article, Hawkins offers up some advice to those "idiots who are too dumb to ever take it." For instance, his ending tidbit to the "mob" protesting Proposition 8 in California? "Stop acting like perverts in those public parades, you weirdos." This fellow's article was such a hit at Townhall, it seems, that he also wrote a sequel.

Now, at this point I have to wonder if Mr. Hawkins knows the proper meaning of "constructive criticism." While John here might be sincerely intending to help the many "idiots" he is offering advice to, generally constructive criticism comes from a place of compassion from someone qualified to give it. While there is no universal definition for "constructive criticism" virtually every article I've read on the subject distinguishes "constructive criticism" from negativity and, first and foremost, mentions that it should be fair, skillful, and solicited.

Unfortunately, Mr. Hawkins' "criticisms" are none of these things. It is mean-spirited rhetoric dripping with sarcasm meant solely for an audience of like-minded believers. Klassy.

3. The Bear Calling the Grizzly Black

In his article entitled "Gays and Atheists Joined at the Lip," a fella named Burt Perlutsky manages to kill two of Townhall's un-favorite birds with one stone. Of both "gays" and "atheists," he writes:

"Basically, they erect straw men, put words in their straw mouths, and then engage in battle with these creatures they’ve cobbled together with spit and glue."

The one thing mildly interesting about this article is that Mr. Perlutsky manages only to do precisely what he accuses "gays" and "atheists" of: erecting straw men and blowing them down. After claiming that there is no such thing as homophobia, he claims that the gays supposedly argue that "those who don’t fully support the gay agenda are most likely latent homosexuals." In actuality, this idea comes from scientific research showing that compared to non-homophobic men, "only homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli." Although this response could suggest latent homosexuality, researchers also acknowledge that the increase in penile erection could be a function of anxiety.

Where Mr. Perlutsky goes wrong here (other than the fact that his entire article is like his very own game of Anti-Gay bingo) is that he disregards this scientific evidence and suggests that this homophobes-are-latent-homosexuals idea is a figment of hyper-active gay imagination. And while I would certainly agree that the latent sexuality of a homophobe is largely irrelevant, what Burt further does is ignore every valid criticism that the gays make of bigots and presents the homophobes-are-latent-homosexuals idea as though that is our only critique of bigotry, intolerance, and inequality.

Sounds like a strawman to me. Further item of note: Townhall readers gave this article 5/5 stars.

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