Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lying by Omission

On Wednesday's show, Bob "reported" on an issue out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. To hear Bob talk about it, you got the impression that: (1) there was a serious problem with gays having sex in Fort Lauderdale's public bathrooms, so (2) the mayor of that city (Jim Naugle) came up with a novel solution to install "robotic toilets" with doors that automatically opened after a certain period of time, and (3) gay activists were raging mad about this plan. Bob then went on to criticize the gay activists, arguing that they should actually be pleased about the mayor attempting to root out the bad apples in the gay community.

But, of course, there's a big problem with Bob's reporting of the story. Bob omitted a key fact. According to the Fort Lauderdale police, "there's no evidence, no reports or arrests made for any men having sex in any restrooms."

So basically, Mayor Naugle was simply taking an opportunity to smear and demonize gay members of the community and accuse them of committing illegal acts, which aren't even happening.

I think I can understand why members of the gay community would be upset! They're not upset at the plan to put in the toilet, but at the allegation that they're a bunch of lawbreakers!

Try thinking about this from a different point of view by imagining the following hypothetical. There's a city with an abortion clinic. A group of Christian activists gather outside the clinic every day. The Christians are generally peaceful, law-abiding members of the community who merely pray and exercise their First Amendment rights. Now imagine that the mayor of that city tells reporters that the city needs to install cameras outside the clinic because the Christians have been acting illegally by committing acts of vandalism, trespassing, and even violence (all of which are untrue). Wouldn't the Christian community be upset? Wouldn't they ask the mayor to apologize for his or her statements? Wouldn't the Christians behave in exactly the way that Bob is criticizing the gay activists for behaving?

The lie of omission is still a lie and not to mention a violation of God's Commandment against bearing false witness. Bob does this all the time. Every time you hear him tell a story about people he doesn't like (gays, Democrats, atheists, etc.) acting in outrageous ways, take a moment and think, "what else may Bob not be telling me?" A simple search on Google (Bob's favorite search engine) may provide the answers.

By the way, did I mention that the robotic toilet is going to cost a quarter of a million dollars? There's fiscal conservatism for you!

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