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Idaho Press Hit Piece on Sen. Brian Lenney Filled with Learned Ignorance

Reading the mainstream press for information is like licking a rock for nutrition.

A reporter calling herself Sydney Kidd displays some tricks of our parochial, leftist media in her recent hit piece on Sen. Brian Lenney. We have talked about the knee-pad journalism of Kevin Richert. Today, let us stroll through the selective use of evidence and appeals to learned ignorance.

Our Kidd's article attempted to embarrass Sen. Lenney, author of two children’s books. One book argues that all should own an AR-15. The other book depicts the silliness of feminism and shows that America is the land of opportunity for all. Our Kidd journalist, it appears, tried to review the books without ever reading them. She found one flower child at the university to condemn them. She found an old Idaho state senator who was also a librarian, who says that such books would not make it into any library she runs!

Experts agree that Lenney's books are bad! He must be bad. Some cultural critics are better than others.

Action Idaho purchased Why is Feminism So Silly? A Guide for Kids and read the book from cover to cover. Our Kidd says Lenney’s book is “riddled with misinformation,” but then goes on to show her own ignorant biases. Her experts are stupid. Her evidence selective.

Lenney’s book begins with a claim that few people in the world believe in feminism. Kidd did a google search though (she learned that in school), and found a Pew poll that says about 60% of American women call themselves feminists. We can google too and the first google page contains many different polls on feminism with different results. USA Today puts the number at 30% favoring feminism. Huffington Post at 23%; Vox at 18%. The Pew poll that Kidd cites is also all over the first page.

The range is from 18% to 60%. Such a wide range of answers might prompt a competent reporter to wonder about how results could be manipulated. Not our little Kidd. She selects the best piece of evidence for her dispute with Lenney, calls it news, and relies on that.

Lenney’s book actually defines feminism. It is the believe that “a secret group of men called The Patriarchy is lurking around every corner to try and stop women from doing what they want.” Lenney says that women have opportunities galore in modern America—and that many women actually choose to be mothers. A woman can be president, he argues, but only one woman--a really bad, crooked woman, Hillary Clinton--has tried. That proves the country has good sense, not that it is anti-woman.

Our Kidd says that feminism stands for equal pay for equal work or the elimination of the gender gap in pay—and acts like those two things are the same thing. For her, feminism means totalitarian control over society until men and women make exactly the same choices about life. More and more programs are needed to bring this about. Lenney's point is that the women are free now, so we don't need to beat ourselves up about more equality.

Then our Kidd journalist finds experts who agree with her. Dr. Jamie Derrick, professor of psychology and communication at University of Idaho, does not like it when people call other people’s ideas silly. “If we present one group as right and one group as wrong, on any topic, then we don’t open ourselves to understanding what the people who disagree with us might have to say that’s valid,” Derrick said. “I’m not a big fan of ‘othering’ really.” She does not even attempt to engage the ideas of Lenney’s book.

Jamie Derrick, from her website

What about those who say that we should not claim that one person is right and another person is wrong? Are they baddies? Aren’t the feminists who say that there is a patriarchy "othering" the patriarchs? Do you think that Dr. Derrick complained about the incivility of Black Lives Matters or preached the importance of kindness to people arrested after J6? Her demands of kindness are a one way street.

Defund U of I if that is the drivel that their professors spout!

So goes the article. It seeks out selective evidence to refute claims. It seeks out moronic professors to worry about the tone, not ideas.

Most conservatives have learned to tune out moronic hit pieces. We actually must learn to laugh at them too--and to laugh we sometimes have to read.


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