What’s With My Bigotry?

Because it’s fun!

Joe emails:

I stumbled across your ‘blog’ quite accidentally today and was struck by a few things. First, that this blog is a lot less ‘porn’ oriented than your past writings. That’s likely to be a good thing.

Because we connected a few years ago, I decided to read a few essays of yours. And to tell you the truth, although I was impressed with the range of articles, the content could – at times – be disturbing. Not because the subject matter was disturbing, but because your treatment of it was.

And secondly, there appears to be a concerted undercurrent of right-wing proselytizing that appears to pervade just about everything you write. And it gets in the way. It minimizes any authority you might have on your subject.

As such, your "journalism" (seemingly well-researched, passionate and interesting as it aspires to be) tends to get caught up in your own quasi-moral view of the world. This is evidenced as you litter your writing with pejorative asides and slurs which have the effect deflating the full intent of the articles, and, makes the reader question your larger motives.

We all know that no journalism is totally objective. But you seem to relish in the mid-culture kitsch aspects instead of using the full measure of your intellect to render deeper, more insightful conclusions. You appear almost gleeful every time you get the chance to slander anyone you regard as progressive, gay, or ‘artistic’ in a way you seem not to be able to accept or understand. Instead of journalism, often, what I find I am reading is something a lot closer to some pseudo-intellectual ultra-right Nazi newspaper that presents itself as a legitimate intellectual exercise, but is really an attempt to connect half-truths in such a way as to provide one opportunity after another to introduce your own narrow world view.

Your "approach-avoidance" relationship with the Jewish community is interesting. It’s as if your strangely drawn to it, but feel the need to slander it too … often connecting the Jewish culture with less-than-noble attributes. This conflict of your is palpable and, well, interesting. Not unlike the kind of stuff I would imagine Mel Gibson goes through in his daily life. Often, you constantly connect Jewish-ness with pornography, gay lifestyles et al. As if the sleaze aspect of that is the full measure of what your prepared to analogize. One would not expect you to write how Jews, given their more limited population, boasts the largest number of doctors, scientists, researchers etc. No. What you focus on is the darker underbelly of Jewish life …. and it can be said that ANY ethnic group does in fact have a similar number of "darkside" individuals within their own group.

This leads a lot of what you write about to come off as sloppy and ill-conceived. Like you can’t wait to get at what you would consider to be "the meat", the glossy, neon, non-cultured Entertainment Tonight (and all those other shows) aspect of your articles. One tends to come away from your stuff feeling like your more interested in the sizzle than the steak. Perhaps, had you actually graduated from college, and developed the skills appropriate to journalistic integrity, you might have been better able to balance the "darker" stuff you love to dwell upon, and balance that out with real insightful conclusions rather than the spurious ones you make with gleeful abandon.

What your writing lacks is conscience, and the knowledge that one can be both a crusading truth-seeker/storyteller and still employ some sense of delicacy on matters that stray from the usual fare. You falsely believe that using your writing as a bludgeon is endemic of a hard-boiled reporter doing his thing. What you forget is that once the writing tends to reflect more on the writer than the subjects that writer addresses, a certain "crackpot" element tends to creep in between the lines. Add to that, your own predisposition to promote a sensibility that comes off shorn of tolerance for lifestyles and points of view that are different from your own, and what results makes you seem the very cliche of the white bigot. Maybe you are none of those things. But so many of your essays exude that "vibe" that I suspect you either really mean it, or your slap-dash style is so ingrained you fail to see it. What results is your "excuse" for attacking your subjects. This is not journalism. This slimy, slanderous, ugly, and unskillful. And I think your attempts to project something other is – to the trained eye – just another attempt to find an audience of untrained and moderate intelligence readers who will buy into your assertions and distortions as the "real deal."

I always appreciate points of view that are not like my own … especially when those viewpoints are smart, intellectually astute, and are based more on ideas, than personal attacks which reflect the writer’s own intolerance. For instance, I can read Justice Scalia’s reasonings and admire him for his thought processes and still disagree … or, agree, as I sometimes do. But what he doesn’t do is take pleasure promoting discordant attacks on a lifestyle, ore a religious group, or an individual and then associate those persons or groups with heinous analogies and simple-minded conclusions designed to denigrate or assail them with a snarky attitude designed to look clever. Your more interested in sensationalism , than real substantive reporting …. and it to those who read for a living, or at very least, know how to read and break down what they read for analysis, your failings as a legitimate source of information shines through like a beacon in the night.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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