Selective Media Indignation Over Provoking “Blood-Spilling”?

Glenn Greenwald finds the outrage of the media over the possibility that bona fide nut job Terry Jones’s proposed Qur’an burning might lead to “the spilling of blood” to be self-serving, hypocritical, self-righteousness. In particular he points to this clip from Morning Joe which involves Jon Meacham’s cringe-inducing attempt to invoke religious authority and make a religious argument he imagines should convict his fellow Christian’s heart:

Greenwald’s response to Meacham:

Do you think that the establishment-serving, power-worshipping Jon Meacham would ever in a million years use language like that to condemn American officials who have actually spilled enormous amounts of blood? An extensive search this morning revealed no instance where Meacham ever condemned or publicly appealed in the name of Jesus to the architects of the attack on Iraq, which resulted in the blood-spilling of hundreds of thousands of human beings.

In November, 2003, Meacham appeared on Fox News with Bill O’Reilly and said this of the leaders who were responsible for that blood-spilling aggression: “Roosevelt and Churchill wrote the parts and first acted the parts that George Bush and Tony Blair are playing.” When the Iraq war began, Meacham interviewed George Bush 41 for Newsweek and asked him such probing questions as “How does it feel to be a president sending soldiers into harm’s way?” and “Do you talk to your son about how to handle the pressures of war?” And in 2009, Meacham joined the Washington consensus by demanding that Bush and Cheney be protected from prosecution for their torture and other war crimes, arguing: “to pursue criminal charges against officials at the highest levels — including the former president and the former vice president — would set a terrible precedent.” That’s the standard Washington media maven: as subservient as possible to people with actual power, while showing tough-guy adversarial rage only against the inconsequential and the powerless, like this clownish Florida pastor.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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