19 March 2008

BYU Daily Universe Review

[Our brother doubles as our editor and sounding board. If there are typos, and there always are, it's because he hasn't yet read what we wrote and let us know of the error. We can't be bothered to read what we've written once we're done with it.]

With no new issue of BYU Political Review to dissect (Mr. Decker, get to work), we're left with the Daily Universe.

Another kerfuffle at BYU over the editors' decision not to print recent Dilbert comic strips that invoked the name of Jesus Christ. In a recent column, the editorial page responded to criticisms of their decision by saying that "the unrestrained flow of information (even with something as non-consequential as a cartoon) is not our highest aim at The Daily Universe."

Fair enough. We won't quibble with their decision. But we do have one question: what, exactly, does this, their concluding paragraph mean?
The unrestrained flow of information cannot be the ultimate good for a news organization. It is a marvelous good and a good for which we will always fight, but a good that cannot be made sovereign. Something isn't good because it is free. It is good because of the ideals for which it stands. Necessarily, something must be free in order to ultimately be good, but its own liberality does not make it good. For this reason newspapers fight against outside restrictions. But freedom from outside restrictions does not absolve media outlets of their own standards and responsibilities.
We don't pretend to be the smartest blogger on the internet, but we think that we are smart enough to be able to understand the writing in a university editorial. Frankly, we have no idea what this paragraph is trying to say. It reads like Miss South Carolina's response to why U.S. Americans can't find the United States on a world map.

It strikes us as a just whole lot of words designed to make the writer appear to be an intelligent sophisticate--you know, so they can be like adult journalists. Remember, we're not arguing that these writers agree with us politically. At this point, we'd be satisfied with an editorial that makes sense.


Frequently the Daily Universe runs syndicated opinions written in other college newspapers. Judging by the op-ed we cited above, they should do this more often. On Monday, the DU ran a piece by Raja Karthikeya, a contributor to Georgetown's The Hoya. Writing about Kosovo's recent declaration of independence, Karthikeya said,
Condoning the independence of Kosovo is the worst mistake the international community has made in recent years in Europe. Kosovo is not a simple case of self-determinism of its people: It is about setting a precedent of secession that undermines the integrity of pluralistic nations everywhere.
Broadly, we support other people's in their struggle for independence from tyrannical domination. And with just a cursory look at the situation in Kosovo, we supported their split. We're not ready to back away form that position, but Karthikeya's column does raise some important points to consider.


Finally, today's op-ed on on Obama's exculpatory Wright-speech.

After the non-sense of the first column, the DU's editors redeemed themselves with a strong editorial about Obama's missed opportunity. In particular, these paragraphs echo the questions we have about Obama's association with Wright and the questions that association raises about his judgment:
The worry with Wright's comments never was that they directly represented Obama's personal views. It was Obama's judgment. How could a man who's been campaigning on sound judgment in the absence of experience, choose Wright as his family's spiritual adviser?

Obama's best chance for success Tuesday would have been to condemn Wright's comments and then say he was gravely mistaken to have chosen him as his family's spiritual adviser. Instead, he continued to sell Wright off as the crazy uncle whom he loves, disagrees with, but [who] still makes a good point - despite all his hate and anger.
(emphasis added)

We were most bothered by the moral equivalence reflected in Obama's comparison of Rev. Wright to his (Obama's) poor grandmother. Does anyone really believe that the private prejudice of Barack's grandmother is on par with the hateful, divisive, racist, conspiracy theories of Jeremiah Wright? Give us a break.

Saying that Wright's position is OK or understandable is just another example of what one of our favorite writers--One Cosmos--calls "the soft bigotry of low or no expectations for blacks."
(article link)

As much as anything else, Obama's speech showed that he is just repackaging and rebranding the same old liberal drivel.

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Morgan said...

Obama's judgment in selecting Wright to be his spiritual adviser was my biggest concern with the whole issue. His speech did nothing to ease those concerns for me. If anything, his speech increased my level of concern. I really question his ability to make choices that "unify" the country. Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion but for some reason it really strikes a chord with me. Before this I was hesitant to vote for him based on his voting record and lack of experience with introducing major pieces of legislation. Now I am almost 100% positive I couldn't vote for him.

Spikers said...

I am not concerned at all. I know the leaders of my church have said some pretty crazy things, even racist things. I did not leave my church, nor do I intend to. That does not mean that I accept those racist or Anti-American comments. Nor do I suppose that Obama accepts Rev. Wright's comments. I will take him at his word.

Branden B. said...

The proximity to Wright, not his membership, most troubling. A man's best friends say a lot about that man.