Monday, April 28, 2008

“La Media e Mobile”


The Texas Rangers Should Learn Opera!

One of the more famous operatic melodies is “La Donna E Mobile” from Don Giovanni. The song is all about how “Women are moveable/fickle/constantly changing”.

It’s funny because, as I look at the way the media and the bloggosphere are covering and reacting to the Texas Raid on the polygamous FLDS compound, that’s the thought that keeps passing through my mind. I can even hear the melody.

At first, the news reports, while trying to “maintain objectivity” were all over the story like flies on stink. They were all about the juicy, salacious details, no matter how trivial or how unconfirmed the report might be. This was a gallant, courageous rescue mission. A call for help had been heard, no matter how faint, and everyone was rushing in to free the captives from the evildoers.

I can remember when I heard, for example, that they had found beds in the FLDS temple, and had found a single woman’s hair on one of the beds. Obviously, the beds are being used to consummate these horrid underage forced marriages. Right there IN THE TEMPLE itself!

Then, on the bloggosphere, some alternate voices started to be heard. Voices questioning the constitutionality of the raid, and the apparent lack of evidence found. Not so gradually, the tone of the mainstream media shifted as well. Last night on a TV newsmagazine, a reporter was able to actually enter and tour the compound and interview a number of the families men & women that remain. They were very much portrayed as innocent victims. Over and over again, they stated that the charges of abuse, of forced marriage were false. They were shown as simple people trying to live out their polygamous beliefs and not bother anyone, or even harm those within their group. This report was not alone as more and more media reports are starting to take this tone.

Whether or not they are innocent victims or evil enablers of abuse remains to be seen. Whether or not the raid or subsequent investigation will turn up the evidence to press any charges remains to be seen. Also, any emotional damage done to the children, either from living in a horrible, anti-social, abusive polygamous society, or from being torn from the arms of their loving families all remains to be seen.

I just find it interesting to watch how the media has shifted from being more sharks in the feeding frenzy to being the sympathetic and loving friends and supporters. That kind of opportunistic hypocrisy irritates me. Whatever happened to just reporting the news?

The church, meanwhile, is doing all it can to distance itself from either the FLDS group or the raid. The church site is full of corrections and clarifications that we (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) are NOT the FLDS church, and do NOT practice polygamy.

Well, SOMEONE in Texas is going to have to sort all this out, and I’m hecka glad it’s not me!

Mark Hansen

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