Friday, October 12, 2007

"Perfecting" Jews

A certain right-wing pundit recently stated in an interview that she thought Jews needed to be "perfected." The same woman has said in the past that we should send people over to the Middle East to forcibly convert the Muslims to Christianity, which would make them more peaceful (apparently she missed the history class about the Crusades).

Suffice it to say that I don't think her remarks are even worth dignifying with a response. Like Howard Stern and Don Imus, this woman makes money by shocking people. Like Stern and Imus, it's not even entirely clear whether she believes the outrageous, insulting, divisive things she says, or whether she just says them to get attention, publicity and of course, money. Why should I give her the publicity she seeks?

Frankly, I am far less concerned about her and her remarks than I am about the state of a society that makes such things profitable. I know that a lot of people gleefully listen to "shock jocks" and read extremist literature (both right and left) not to learn anything, not to understand anything, not even because they agree with it, but only for the sheer amusement value of seeing what outrageous thing these pundits will say or write next. Of course, once those outrageous things have been said, the bar is raised and the pundits must say or do something even more outrageous to get attention. It is a vicious circle, and there is no end to it in sight.

But one person responding on a news article about this situation made an excellent comment that suggests a way forward: if a blowhard speaks and no one is there to listen, does she make a sound?