By Craig Funston
I’m sure we have all been disgusted with the growing ISIS plague that’s splattered all over northern Iraq and parts of Syria, and so we should. In addition to that is the grisly public beheadings of journalists and aid workers.
What little I have seen is horrifying. I understand from sources (high school students who will remain nameless) that there are actual Internet sites that you can go to to watch the deed being done. Not sure who in their right mind would watch it, but I’d probably lose mine if I did.
But thinking about the whole publicity thing has really provoked me, to somewhere just above outrage and a little below civil disobedience. Not sure if there is anyone else out there, but does anyone smell what I smell?
By that, I mean that I smell something fishy in what is reported, and ultimately, in what is read, by those who believe everything that the media reports—and doesn’t report.
Can you spell “d-o-u-b-l-e s-t-a-n-d-a-r-d?”
In other words, with regard to ISIS, there is a worldwide outrage with the sick and heartless way certain people have been put to death—and so there should be. And I am sure we don’t know the half of it.
Then further afield, there’s a muted outcry with what is happening (note: present tense) in Iran, China, North Korea, even Mexico, and other rogue states—and that’s just within the past few years.
Or let’s go back a couple of decades, to the Balkan War of the ’90s: Does anyone remember how many thousands of Muslim males were butchered? Didn’t think so. And beyond that, hundreds of executions that went unreported.
Going back further, has ISIS’s actions been any worse than the atrocities during World War II (you pick the country)? I suggest to you they haven’t been. The key difference is the way the news is reported,. Space, time, and heart do not allow for a discussion about the murderous bloodbath of all and sundry resistance movements over the past 100 years alone.
But the real double standard is that North America butchers more people on a daily basis that ISIS will ever kill. It falls under the euphemistic category of “pro-choice”; we rational thinkers call it abortion, or, the murder of defenceless babies.
My son recently heard a teacher explain it this way: He had a hundred grains of rice in his hand, representing the number of people killed by ISIS; then he showed a twenty-five pound bag of rice, representing the deaths of innocent victims in North America over the past decade or so.
Which is more newsworthy? Which should get our attention first? Why no news coverage about those murders of innocents?
Have we become so soft, so skewed in our thinking and values, that we don’t even think about anything other than what we’re told by the media? That alarms me, and so it should likewise alarm you.
Double standards are hard to combat. I struggle with some myself, but never—I repeat, never—do it intentionally. We are all human we all have feet of clay; I can live with that–but that’s not what I’m talking about.
The double standard of selective reporting, of ignoring some of the crucial facts is both unethical and immoral. Fairly strong words, I’d say, from a lowly, ordinary citizen in some small Alberta town. It’s the word “some” that’s integral to this argument: If we were being whitewashed all the way, we would be outraged; however, we are being whitewashed a little bit of the way, but we should still be outraged.
So let’s try to pull this all together: One, there are some gruesome atrocities out there in the Middle East; two, however, they are no more gruesome than what we have heard or seen over the past few decades; and three, if we’re going to report gruesome, barbaric murders, let’s start with what we North Americans are doing to our own children.
This misplaced horror strikes me as inconsistent at best, hypocritical at worst. Perhaps some genuine reporting about America’s own death chambers for its babies would be in order.
It seems to me that there is selective indignation, and not only spells a double standard, but it spells double trouble.