Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Selective Issue Attention Disorder

On the Fox News website Bill O'Reilly has dediced to attack the ACLU. Now I would like to start by saying I don't agree with every position that the ACLU takes. In fact I am often annoyed by the position they take. This is not to say that I think that they don't serve a function in our society, but I would never make a statement like 'This is about imposing a radical secular progressive agenda on a country that has traditionally voted on public policy issues.' Yes I think they sometimes take agressive positions on issues that they support, but at least I can understand the basics of how they make decisions. As a tax preparer I tend to take agressive positions on issues, but I hope I never take a position which is foolish on the face. (This is not to say that I think they have.)

But the ACLU doesn't believe that. The organization has moved so far left, that now anything goes.
• Item: The ACLU is defending the North American Man Boy Love Association, saying that although the organization champions the criminal rape of children, it has a right to do that under free expression.

• Item: The ACLU endorses virtual child pornography and has defended the right of people to obtain real child porn.
• Item: the ACLU opposed the Minutemen protests at the border, obviously, a legitimate form of expression.
So it seems the ACLU cherry picks its cases. The Minutemen certainly have a right to protest the porous border situation, but the ACLU opposes that expression. — Off the chart hypocritical.

Okay let's look at these items one at a time. (Again this is taken from O'Reilly so I make no point of whether these are actually the ACLU's positions being properly represented.)
If, and I stress the if, the ACLU is that NAMBLA has a 'right' to distribute literature, while I personally find it offensive, I do seem to wonder if it might not be a legitimate free speech issue. (This is not to say they support NAMBLA, after all I don't there are many people who support what NAMBLA is all about. But they may support the free speech rights.)

As far as virtual child pornography goes, once again not something I find all that interesting myself, as long as pornography is legal and they 'performers' in the material are adults there is no issue here. (I have never heard of anyone supporting a right to a legal right to child porn.)

As far as the Minute Men Border Patrol. I do have some problems with them in that they seem to have taken on a position with no authority from anyone. (I do support what they stand for which to restrict the illegal crossing of border issues as this is a security issue in todays world. Now as long as the Minute Men are not breaking any laws I would agree that it is Constitutionally protected in several ways, but as I don't know how well they are 'clearing' the people who are patroling the border I do have concerns.

O'Reilly is simple doing the same thing to ACLU that he is accusing the ACLU of. He is cherry picking a variety of issues and, based on his comments, misrepresenting the ACLU's positions on the issues to attack them. It is this cherry picking that leads to Selective Issue Attension Disorder. Hopefully people, when they hear his rant this evening, will understand this but the likelihood is that no one will.,2933,171995,00.html

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