Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Journalism

Orson Scott Card nails it.

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?
By Orson Scott Card

Editor's note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.

An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.


  1. Ugh. Orson Scott Card is a VERY homophobic nut. He may technically be a Democrat but he's a hardcore neocon in addition to his extraordinary homophobia. It's disingenuous to say, oh look what this Democrat said. He's less of a Democrat than you are (and I know you are one, technically.)


    With regard to the acceptance of legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and California, Card writes that "giving legal recognition to gay marriage ... marks the end of democracy in America. These judges are making new law without any democratic process; in fact, their decisions are striking down laws enacted by majority vote."[26] and asserts "How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn."[27] Elsewhere he writes:
    “ This applies also to the polity, the citizens at large. Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society. The goal of the polity is not to put homosexuals in jail. The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly, so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity's ability to provide rules for safe, stable, dependable marriage and family relationships.[24]

    I've followed Card my whole life, having read and loved his books as a kid (his early stuff holds up well, if you like SF.) I've read almost everything he's written, and I've seen him speak and debate politics in person, and the guy is 100% a right-wing Mormon neocon nut. Post his articles if you want, but as long as we're talking about "honest reporters," let's not pretend he's a regular ol' Democrat who's criticizing his own party.

  2. [applauds the article]

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

  3. JA - I fail to see how his views on homosexuality make him less of a Democrat - the two candidates have the same stances on gay marriage and gay rights, and just about everything in the piece relates to foreign policy, media, and most of all, economics.

    That he is a Democrat despite his views on homosexuality show just how strong he believes in Dem policy on other matters, which makes this all the *more* strong, not less.

    Finally, I fail to see how someone being against homosexuality is "homophobic".

  4. ezzie:

    He's a right-wing nut on foreign policy as well. And I honestly believe he is a homophobe. In fact I believe he's a self-hating closet case, but that's for another discussion.

  5. He also doesn't know the facts about the current housing crisis. The vast majority of the problem loans were NOT guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or sold by the banks regulated by the Community Reinvestment Act. They were made by mortgate firms that were trying to make a quick buck around 2002-2005, not respond to political pressure to make more loans to poor people in 1996-1998.

  6. Here's more: