Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cheney at BYU: In the news, blogs

I seldom find anything to agree with in SLTrib editorials, but this one seems to hold the grasp of one essential idea...

...protests, boycotts, issues brought to the forefront - it's all good. It's all part of the participatory process.
So let Cheney speak. Be appalled, or enthralled. He may posture and prevaricate, but he will be speaking to a class of college graduates who presumably are capable of weighing his words against his record.

I don't find anything else of merit in the thoughts expressed, but at least they got one foundational idea right.

Then there's this article from one of the regular columnists, which hews close to the traditional SLTrib line of enthusiastically misrepresenting and slandering the church and anything related to it.

Actually, the SLTrib did better than DesNews on this. The DN article could only find controversy as the point of discussion.

LDS Blogs are more-or-less dominated by outrage that Cheney is not already caged up in chains. Few seem to recognize that the federal prosecutor labored for more than a year to convict Bush and Cheney and company on all kinds of charges, but failed to deliver. Anyway, sentiments in the Bloggernacle are strikingly similar to something from these days. Typical fare at a couple of representative blogs: Times and Seasons author says Cheney deserves a fair trial, oblivious to the fact that it already happened. Guy Murray's Messenger and Advocate follows the crowd with a rather disappointing anti-war posture that pretty much obscures all reasonable considerations. Others are far less even-handed in their discussion and rhetoric.

More stories in the Deseret News

BYU OKs Cheney protest
LDS Church statement concerning Cheney visit to BYU
LDS Church fires back at criticism over Cheney
Readers on Cheney — with a 'Y'
Protests not new at Y.

And in the Salt Lake Tribune

BYU allows students' Cheney protest
LDS Church responds to Tribune columnist
BYU allows Cheney protest
Chilly for Cheney at BYU?


Connor said...

Walsh's SL Trib article is an example of horrible journalism. Commentary at LDS News Watch.

Guy Murray said...

Jim, actually, I did not follow the crowd anywhere on this story. I first broke it over on Bloggernacle Times, and then followed up at Messenger and Advocate about the petition. Both posts preceded those of the rest in the 'nacle.

Whether Cheney should be in chains or not is really irrelevant to whether he is a prudent choice to invite as a commencement speaker. He is not a prudent speaker. While I agree the Church has every right to invite him, I simply disagree that he is the best choice. There are innumerable better choices.

By the way, the Church as just issued a formal announcement on their website about the Cheney invitation. I have posted about it over on Messenger and Advocate.

Jim Cobabe said...

Guy, I know, I know, I'm sorry -- brief comments never treat another person's thoughts fairly. The gist of what I intended is that the whole response to this issue is initially disappointing to me. I wasn't putting any specific blame on you.

I expect better things from fellow saints. The impression I got was a sort of throwback to Viet Nam era protests. A bunch of unwashed ignorant people wearing long hair and beads standing around displaying their placards and peace symbols, chanting about how they'd rather be making love than war. Well, who wouldn't?

That kind of visceral reaction is certainly understandable -- I expect it comes rather naturally to all of us. But in fact we are capable of aspiring to so much higher things. Why not go there first?

As to whether Cheney is a good choice to speak at BYU, I really don't have much standing to offer my judgment on that question. I would suggest, though, that the brethren of the church probably do. And I suppose this decision was not made without their approval. Whatever they decide about BYU is all right with me.