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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More MMPA Cultural Illiteracy

[Note: MMPA="Mass Media Podpeoples' Army"]

In yesterday's best of the Web, James Tarranto cites this lil graph that lends itself to some morbid amusement:

"In the original version of this report, Newsweek misquoted Falwell as referring to 'assault ministry.' In fact, Falwell was referring to 'a salt ministry'--a reference to Matthew 5:13, where Jesus says 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' We regret the error."--Newsweek online, Feb. 6 issue

Yep. Newsweak. Assigning culturally illiterate (let alone biblically illiterate) reporters with no grounding in the memes* of Western Civilization or the Bible to write about comments of someone who is steeped in the single greatest influence on the English language: the Bible. But never fear, as Rolling Stone's Jeff Sharlet is equal to the task of matching Newsweak's cultural illiteracy by accusing Senator Sam Brownback of homosexual-bashing with a reference to Matthew 7:20.

(7:19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.(7:20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (KJV)

BTW, ABCNews online doesn't fare much better in reporting the incident. Apparently no one at ABCNews could find a Bible to check the reference, so they said Brownback's comment, ""You'll know them by their fruits," was a reference to Matthew 7:19, instead of correctly noting it was a close paraphrase of verse 20. If this were an exam, I'd have to mark ABCNews' article wrong on the facts. Close, but no cigar.

Ahh, it's just a sign** of the ever-growing cultural illiteracy of American society. Perhaps even of functional illiteracy as well-at least among the members of the MMPA. Who can check the facts when reading is so haaaaarrrrrrd?

h.t. to John at Powerline, who note also that Jerry Falwell's Liberty University debate team took the Harvard debate team to the cleaners a month ago... *heh*

[*Heck, everyone's heard of the meme "salt of the earth" haven't they? Here's its origin, in context. Makes a difference, doesn't it?

**Sign, not symptom. A symptom is something a patient can describe to a physician. These folks are so clueless it takes an outside observer to see the signs of their subliteracy in their grunts and squeals.]

A shot across the bow gone awry at Diane's Stuff and TMH's Bacon Bits and Basil's Blog