The image below will be the front page of tomorrow’s Fargo Forum. At this point, I think it’s fair to say that anyone claiming that newspaper is an objective chronicler of current events should be laughed at and mocked.
There’s nothing wrong with the Forum having a left wing cant to their reporting, but they should stop claiming to be objective.
Really, the front page is perfectly in sync with this modern era of digital populism. After years of chastising talk radio hosts and bloggers (including yours truly) for coarsening political debate, the Forum has bought into the mob justice approach to political discourse. You’re either with them, or you’re going to have a target on your back.
There’s no room for reason. No room for nuanced arguments. No quarter for principled dissent. There’s only the “right side of history” or you’re a hateful bigot.
The cover names lawmakers as voting against “protection” for gays, but that’s wildly inaccurate. What would the law have protected gays from? A sort of discrimination that happens so rarely that supporters of this legislation couldn’t name specific perpetrators of it?
Support for gay rights is the majority position in America today. The number of businesses that want anything to do with discrimination against anyone, gays included, is vanishingly small. The anti-discrimination law voted down in the House yesterday had no utility outside of a vehicle for crass ideological politics of the sort the Forum and other supporters of SB2279 are deploying.
The lawmakers the Forum is trying to shame took a brave stand for an unpopular position. We used to pride ourselves on that sort of thing here in America. The test of our commitment to freedom has always been the extent to which we’ll allow the ugliest, most objectionable forms of speech and expression. Principled people have fought the good fight for all manner of controversial activities ranging from pornography to Ku Klux Klan rallies.
We seem to have lost that principled commitment in today’s America, and the shallow thinkers in charge of the Fargo Forum are leading the charge.
The silver lining here is that that the Forum’s caustic, berating editorial tone has been so far out of step with North Dakota voters for so long that most people are going to see this front page, roll their eyes, and move on with their day.