From an article in today’s Denver Post:
“American society is good at focusing on micro-morality but it misses the larger morality,” media historian Robert McChesney said.
The quotation is directed at the trendy obsession with fake news at the New York Times, but it applies to the religious right in particular.
The narrow media preoccupation with the Times occurs at a time when Americans are more disenchanted than ever with the narrowness, shallowness, and sloppiness of news and entertainment in the mass media in general.
Yet Republicans in the FCC are pushing to consolidate those media even further, so there is even less news, fewer viewpoints, and fewer options for local musicians.
The religious right has been quiet about media consolidation — even as it complains that it already can’t get its views aired. Why the silence? My guess is that, among its many ethical oversights, the religious right idolizes unregulated big business and is reluctant to confront vices of business no matter how severely families are impacted.
Among those other “ethical oversights”:
- Movement organizations have little to say about vices other than the carnal kind, so they are left out of public-policy debates.
- Religious-right leaders contradict themselves on sexual matters, as their moral tunnelvision prevents them from examining the implications of what they say. I’ve pointed this out elsewhere.
- The movement aggressively pushed for the Bush tax cuts, smearing skeptics. So what do the Republicans do? They eliminate reductions in the marriage penalty and breaks for small businesses. So now, as Warren Buffett notes, most families will continue to pay up to 30 percent of their income in federal taxes, while taxes for billionaires will drop as low as 3 percent. In a nutshell, the religious right just helped rob its own support base of families.
So I see a micro-morality problem among the religious right. The movement can’t see beyond its very small worldview. As a result, the movement is largely to blame for its own shrinking influence over popular culture.