So, I caught a story on CNN the other day about an Oklahoma family named the Duggars that’s expecting their 18th child. Eighteenth. Nine times two. Oh, and over the course of 11 years. So the woman is pretty much constantly pregnant. Like a cockroach. Naturally, most of the kids were dressed alike and they’re all home schooled, and the family plans to keep on squirting out progeny “as long as God wills it.”
Now, this story wasn’t presented in the manner I would have (were I a CNN producer, an unlikely career shift), with an apocalyptic tenor akin to reporting on a plague of rats and ignorance putting an end to all mankind, but as a breezy Mother’s Day human interest story. “Oh, my can you imagine how many Mother’s Day cards she gets? Tee Hee, the world keeps spinnin’! Gee, gas is expensive!”
Discovery Health sub-website featuring such jovial sections as “Fun Facts” and “Name That Duggar!” Where’s the subsect on guessing how cavernous Michelle’s vagina has become? Do the babies just whoosh right out at this point, ala the Catholic Mom at the beginning of MONTY PYTHON’S MEANING OF LIFE? Just as disturbing to ponder, how, uh, difficult is it to, um, inseminate a vessel so large?
Brr. Anyway. If there were any example of proof that the so-called “liberal media” doesn’t exist, this story is it. Where’s the voice offering the possibility that this sanctimonious, narcissistic Divine overpopulation is a BAD thing not only for the Duggar clan (I was tempted to use a K there) but for the world at large? (My pal Bob did point out that in 2005, San Francisco Gate columnist Mark Morford wrote a blisteringly brilliant response, when the Duggars had a paltry brood of 16). Family values, my ass.
Not that I was shocked by the tone of the coverage. Despite the fact that I watch it A LOT, I really have a ton of disdain for CNN (and all the US cable news networks, MSNBC's brilliant and correct Keith Olbermann aside). The mewling prattle of the smiling anchors, usually unable to hide their own personal biases (I’m glaring at you, Tony Harris) is all morning-show friendly, regardless of the airtime. They happily propagate political non-issues, keeping stories like a dearth of flag pins and Reverend Wright in the public eye. The war is questioned while the military is paradoxically celebrated as infallible. Non-news stories about car crashes and house fires and liquor store robberies get coverage because, and ONLY because they have video (which should be an easy rule of thumb for television journalism: Would it be a worthwhile story if there were no pretty pictures to look at? No? Then it’s not news.).
Again, I’m not shocked. As with almost everything I see on the “news,” the clueless, happy tale of the Duggars just reinforces the ever-deepening rumbling in my gut that repeats a prophecy in a painful, gastric loop, sounding something like… “We’re fucked.”