The Gotcha Game

By Bill Bennett

To understand the debasement of the mainstream media as well as the far-flung blogosphere, one need look no further than the staggering glut of current commentary arising out of the latest Bill Bennett flap. Surely there is no easier story that can be written than the sensationalist and small minded 'Bill Bennett is a Racist' screed. While there is certainly nothing wrong with throwing stones, the sport loses much of it's flavor when ones target is as broad as the side of a barn. Much like the earlier 'Tom Delay is Corrupt' meme, this choice of topic reeks of journalistic laziness.

Is there any truth to these charges of racial bias? Certainly not. Bill Bennett, unlike many of the indolent pundits, refuses to play the 'gotcha game'. Until there is clear evidence of prejudice on his part, we will continue to take Mister Bennett at his word.

Bill Bennett has already explained that when he suggested on his popular morning radio show that the abortion of all black babies would lead to a reduction in the crime rate, he was wearing his philosopher's hat and engaging in what law school professors call 'the Socratic method' in order to point out the folly of an errant callers supposition. He then stated that his example was impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible, albeit acknowledging that it was fiendishly clever. Plus, he borrowed it from a respected book. Bill Bennett abhors abortion, and if it were within his power, he would outlaw it entirely, starting with women of the Caucasian persuasion.

Does Bill Bennett owe anyone an apology? No, he does not. Without context there is no meaning, and without analysis there is no understanding. If anyone owes the American people an apology, it is the slothful journalists and bloggers who would attempt to score a few easy points by making fun of Bill Bennett.



2005, Mark Hoback