NOTE THE ELLIPSIS. While I was on the whole Catholic thing earlier -- sticking up for Holy Mother Church against the Worst Published Writer Ever -- I figured I'd slide on over to see what one of my favorite Papalettes was up to. Ah, mais oui. La Noonan never disappoints. It seems that nasty liberals -- in this case, Howard Kurtz (!) -- have been up to their censorious worst these days. For example:
On Oct. 2, on Katie Couric's "CBS Evening News," in the segment called "Free Speech," the father of a boy killed at Columbine shared his views on the deeper causes of the recent shootings in Amish country. Brian Rohrbough said violence entered our schools when we threw God out of them. "This country is in a moral freefall. For over two generations the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum. . . . We teach there are no moral absolutes, no right or wrong, and I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children." This was not exactly the usual mush.
Mr. Rohrbough was quickly informed he was not part of the legitimate debate, either. Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post: "The decision . . . to air his views prompted a storm of criticism, some of it within the ranks of CBS News." A blog critic: Grief makes people say "stupid" things, but "what made them put this man on television?" Good question. How did they neglect to silence him?
I was going to post on this when it happened, but Mr. Rohrbough has had enough trouble, god knows. However, "this is not the usual mush" hardly covers it. La Noonan leaves out quite a bit in that curious ellipsis. To wit, from the transcript of the commentary in question: "For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak, without moral consequences and life has no inherent value."
Not only abortion, but the teaching of evolution.
I grieve for Mr. Rohrbaugh's loss, but this is lunacy, precisely the same as putting someone in front of a camera who blames the 9/11 attacks on winged insects from the planet Zaftron. This is the kind of thing you change tables to avoid. This should have been stapled to a telephone pole in Tompkins Square, not broadcast -- nay, exploited -- on a network news show that is rapidly becoming the biggest joke on television since they gave Magic Johnson a talk show. It was best left to fade away, not to be picked up like an ungainly cudgel and used second-hand by the mumbling dowager empress of the Reagan Revolution.
--Charles P. Pierce
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