Fox News for All Your Paris Hilton Needs

Apparently Fox News has decided Paris Hilton’s escapades deserve an entire section of their site (Overcompensating):

Between the Space Shuttle launches and presidential near-hangovers, I almost missed the opening of Fox News’ new Paris Hilton Center. In other news FOX NEWS HAS WHOLE F*CKING SECTION OF THEIR WEBSITE DEDICATED SOLELY TO PARIS HILTON. Anyone who still takes this “news” organizion seriouzly needs to be tested for rabies.

Contrast that with their war coverage (Forbes):

 
 

On a winter day when bomb blasts at an Iraqi university killed dozens and the United Nations estimated that 34,000 civilians in Iraq had died in 2006, MSNBC spent nearly nine minutes on the stories during the 1 p.m. hour. A CNN correspondent in Iraq did a three-minute report about the bombings.

Neither story merited a mention on Fox News Channel that hour.

That wasn’t unusual. Fox spent half as much time covering the Iraq war than MSNBC during the first three months of the year, and considerably less than CNN, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Between their priorities and their continual and suspect mistakes, it should be crystal clear that Fox News is not a serious news organization.

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Gay Rights and Misleading Arguments

The two biggest flash points on Gay Rights are marriage and the military.  In the opinions being generated on both, a common but effective tactic is being used to sweep the real agenda under the table.  Taking a cue from the central martial concept of redirecting an opponent’s force rather than meeting it head on, some political players are trying to move the debate over homosexuality and human rights into other domains where they hold more defensible positions.  Let’s take a deeper look at these arguments, and why they are bunk.

Let’s start with the military.  As you know, Ron Paul did not support repealing the disastrous “don’t ask don’t tell” policy via the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.  Instead, he argues it is a question of behavior rather than orientation (hat tip craig tindale in comments).

Are soldiers engaging in gay sex during combat?  Is heterosexual sex going unpunished when it occurs on dangerous missions?  This is a false front to provide cover for the real argument:  That the very existence of openly gay individuals in the military offends the more biblically minded among the brass.  Soldiers don’t suddenly become so addicted to sex upon revealing their orientation that they can no longer function in their capacity to serve.  That is bull.  And it forms a bull argument that only appears reasonable on the surface.

The arguments against Gay Marriage are even more transparent.  One classic argument (although not origina, as anyone familiar with the civil rights movement can tell you) is the respect of states rights.  Ron Paul trotted this out when he helped take on the Federal Marriage Amendment.  The redirection here is subtle.  If, as Ron notes in the above video, rights are given by our creator, how are they not universal?  How do our rights exist in one state, but not another?  Again, something doesn’t quite add up, and what seems reasonable (people should decide for themselves, this is about democracy, this is about states rights) is really a flimsy cover for sinister bigotry.

One argument libertarians and Ron Paul supporters like to add to the pile is that of keeping the federal government out of the bedroom.  Craig Tindale makes this argument in comments:

He is against federal interference in peoples bedrooms, if California wants allow gay marriage then fine but dont make it law for Alabama , that should be up to the folk in the state you live.

As does Matt in the comments section of inrepair.net:

As an old Libertarian I can tell you that libertarians as a group generally do not think the government should get involved with any facet of one’s personal lives. We believe that what two (or more) consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is their own business.

The marriage debate isn’t about bedrooms or privacy.  It is about legal status and respect.  It is about equality under the law and the separation of Church and State.

Because when it comes down to it, homophobia is rooted in interpretation of the Bible.  This isn’t something to shy away from, it is something to confront.  Just as the Bible was used to justify slavery and racism, it is being used to justify how our society treats homosexuals.  Just as creationists re-branded their argument as intelligent design, homophobes are trying to make the debate of gay rights a debate over individual conduct and states rights.

Individual rights are universal, and foundational to this country.  But just as we can allow state government power to protect those rights, we can allow our federal government the power to ensure the rights of the minority are protected.  This is one of the biggest responsibilities of a republic, and to date we have been lacking.  We can start down the right path by making honest arguments.