The notion of "approved" news goes back a long way. If you've read A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, you'll recall that Hank Morgan, the eponymous time-travelling New Englander, was much taken by the Court Circular published each week in Camelot:
On Monday, the King rode in the park.
" Tuesday, " " " " " "
" Wednesday, " " " " " "
" Thursday, " " " " " "
" Friday, " " " " " "
" Saturday, " " " " " "
" Sunday, " " " " " "
But at least the King did, in fact, ride in the park. In today's world, it is no longer necessary for the event so described actually to occur for it to be reported as a remarkable, newsworthy event. Here, for example, is CBS Los Angeles reporting on the city's Kwanzaa parade:
The 38th annual KwanZaa Gwaride parade made its way down Crenshaw Boulevard Friday, marking the start of the seven-day festival of Kwanzaa.
The gwaride, which is the Swahili word for parade, brought together members of L.A.'s African-American community as they turn their focus on "Nguzo Saba," the Seven Principles behind Kwanzaa...
Er, not really. The scene above can't really be described as a "parade" - in English, Swahili, or anything else. "Gwaride" would seem to be Swahili for "vast empty plain with nary a solitary antelope for company". And the only members of LA's African-American community "brought together" by the event appear to be two pedestrians who were out for a stroll anyway.
The only very modest bit of news here is that, even in the heart of south Los Angeles, Kwanzaa is too boring and fraudulent for all but the most gung ho of identity-group hucksters. Which would be mildly interesting to know, and has the additional merit of being true. But you can't say that on CBS. You can't report the truth on CBS. So instead reality has to be brought into line with the diversity myths.
That's the purpose of "news" as social engineering. The great, messy, contradictory, complexities of reality have to be streamlined and organized into the half-a-dozen approved narratives of the age. At its most absurd, you wind up with "Jackie", the "victim" of the University of Virginia "gang" "rape", to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for having the courage to come forward and raise awareness by "pulling back the curtain on rape" - even if behind the pulled-back curtain there was no actual rape going on. But the CBS Kwanzaa "report" reminds us that the same philosophy determines a thousand lesser stories every day of the week.
~On Monday, Jackie and the massed ranks of campus gang-rape victims rode through the park. On Tuesday, the spectacular Kwanzaa parade rode through the park. On Wednesday, the Religion of Peace rode through the park pursued by gangs of all-American bigots and haters. In between their delirious Kwanzaa observances, the California media also found time to report on a Yuletide attack on an American mosque - yet more grim evidence that Islamophobia is rampaging out of control:
A vandalism attack on the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno on Christmas Day was immediately branded by Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer as a "hate crime," and the "Islamophobia" grievance industry began to gear up in response.
Alas, it proved to be just the usual Islamofauxbia:
California man suspected of vandalizing Islamic center
Given that the Islamic center so vandalized is in California, it would seem likely that a "California man" is responsible - as opposed to a "New Jersey man" or "Rhode Island man". But any particular kind of "California man"?
Asif Mohammad Khan has been booked into jail on charges including felony vandalism for more than $10,000 in damage done Thursday to the Islamic Cultural Center and a nearby medical office...
Khan confessed, telling officers he was upset with people at the Islamic center for talking down or bullying him, Dyer said.
So scrub Chief Dyer's instant scrambling of the Islamophobic Hate-Crimes Unit. Instead, in this latest round of "Crazy or Muslim?", who'll be the first expert commentator to point out that Mr Khan is mentally ill?
Well, oddly enough, they wrapped that one up at the police press conference:
"It is a case of mental illness," said his sister, Samia Khan. "There's no question about that..." Khan said she joined Fresno police at a news conference to explain her brother's illness.
So, having prematurely characterized the vandalism as an Islamophobic hate crime, Chief Dyer has now broken the record for playing the he's-not-Muslim-he's-mentally-ill card. Having it officially announced at the police press conference certainly saves the media time, and frees up valuable news resources for more in-depth Kwanzaa coverage.
~I'm honored to find myself in the 2014 Fabulous 50 blog awards, along with old friends like Michelle Malkin, Walter Williams, and Glenn Reynolds, but also with a bunch of newer names worth checking out. It is a year since National Review and I parted company over differing approaches to the Michael E Mann defamation suit and various other matters, and I am very grateful to all those readers who've taken the trouble to make SteynOnline one of their ports of call, and better yet to help prop up my end of this tedious lawsuit. Much appreciated.