Sunday, April 17, 2005

No Bias at the Daily, No Siree

There are a few misleading points Karl Noyes's anti-Bush, anti-facts column that I felt needed to be made more clear.

"The artist, Al Brandtner, had the gall to create a panel of enlarged postage stamps with Bush and a handgun lurking in the background."

If by "lurking in the background," Noyes meant "pointed at his head in an execution-style fashion..." I've attached a picture of the exhibit, and you can read more about it at PowerLineBlog.


"Who knows how many other anti-art missions the Secret Service has conducted?"

The Secret Service is charged with investigating any and all threats on the President's life. These were not "anti-art" missions; they were doing their job. Does Noyes seriously believe what he writes?

"Some citizens even took a vigilante approach when they had an art show in New York closed because a portrait of Bush made out of monkey pictures and grass was deemed too offensive."

Incorrect. The Secret Service had nothing to do with this incident. The gallery manager closed the exhibit himself after seeing the painting. You can read more about the *facts* here: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04355/429620.stm

"Indeed, the true act of art, of creation and not of entrepreneurship, must boggle the mind of many Bush supporters. If you cannot profit or satisfy a power urge through art, why do it?"

Here, Noyes decides to use one of the logical fallacies (the false dilemma) as an argument. He expects readers to believe the Bush supporters will only commit an act if one can profit from it or satisfy a power urge, which is obviously an incomplete set of options.

"Yet, it is this ignorance of the purpose of art, or perhaps the realization that art is one of the few remaining avenues to subvert the Bush administration, that has inspired Bush’s crackdown."

The Secret Service has not arrested any of these artists, nor has it stopped the art from being viewed. Investigating a possible threat on the President's life does not equal a crackdown on the arts.

"While Bush is sending out the Secret Service to act like a modern-day Gestapo..."

George Bush is not checking art exhibits and dispatching the Secret Service when he doesn't care for the art; the Secret Service acts independently of the President's personal opinions.

Also, Godwin's Law applies here.

"For every two-bit demagogue mindlessly spouting Bible quotes, there are youth writing poetry and hip-hop lyrics."

I like the imagery here. Religious types are "two-bit demagogues," but rappers are "youth writing poetry." Just so you know, I am personally offended. Not that Noyes cares, but I thought I'd mention it.

"For every Toby Keith wailing Bush love songs, there are probably 10 underground punk bands calling for Bush’s scalp."

"*Probably..." When you don't have the facts to back up your argument, a good idea is to just preface what you'd like to be true with "probably."

"By the way, another world leader didn’t like unflattering portraits of himself. His name is Saddam Hussein."

Ah yes, a valid comparison, since both leaders had artists executed when they didn't like their work. Oh wait, you mean that was just Saddam? Bush hasn't personally stopped a single artist from expressing themselves? As a "senior editorial board member," I thought that Noyes would have been aware of that, but the fact that he wasn't certainly shows how closed-minded that Daily's editorial board is.