You all remember Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, don’t you? It is a book so good that even high school and college English classes can’t spoil the pleasure of reading it. If you haven’t read it, or no longer remember it despite having read it, let me refresh your recollection. Wikipedia has a nice summary:
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward, who is greatly impressed by Dorian’s physical beauty and becomes strongly infatuated with him, believing that his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Talking in Basil’s garden, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil’s, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry’s world view. Espousing a new kind of hedonism, Lord Henry suggests that the only thing worth pursuing in life is beauty, and the fulfillment of the senses. Realising that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian cries out, wishing that the portrait Basil has painted of him would age rather than himself. Dorian’s wish is fulfilled, subsequently plunging him into a series of debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin being displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.
While English classes teach that the book is about decadence, and homosexuality, and the transience of human beauty, most of us remember it for one reason alone: the magical portrait. While Dorian Gray’s physical form may have kept its pristine beauty, the portrait lurked in the background, with the image constantly getting older and more evil, a perpetual reminder to Dorian Gray that, even though his physical self stayed young and pure, his soul was aged and corrupt.
In a funny way, the MSM is a mirror image of this portrait. No matter how bad certain (Democratic) politicians are, the MSM hurries to plaster the world with images of these same politicians as visions of pristine beauty, both inside and out. Teddy Kennedy, the filthy rich drunkard and manslaughterer who assiduously avoids practicing what he preaches, is routinely presented as a brave warrior, mounted on a somewhat overburdened white horse, perpetually engaged in one last charge to save the little guy. Even as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times are mounting low blow attacks against Fred Thompson, they’re practically engaged in hagiographies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Here’s the LA Times’ infamous magic negro piece, written by one of its own journalists; here’s the New York Times’ Obama page, with article after article about how fresh and wonderful he is; and here’s the somewhat less warm, but still quite pleasant New York Times’ Hillary page. And how about the articles praising the candidates’ pure and loving Christianity, such as this Time cover story about the top Democratic candidates or this Christian Science Monitor love fest with Obama?
And then there’s Keith Ellison. In the run-up to his election, the MSM fawned over him, finding it incredibly exciting that in one single candidate package, they had liberal, an African-American, an ex-Catholic and a Muslim. What an exciting political personality. No one in the MSM seemed to care about his shady past, including a longtime association with Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic Nation of Islam, not to mention the hand holding he does with CAIR nowadays. (I think Power Line had the best pre-election coverage, and you’ll find all of their Ellison posts here, if you’re interested).
Outside of the MSM, anybody who cared to look could see that Ellison was a fringe actor, with shady associations and markedly unpleasant beliefs. Inside the MSM, he was a wunderkind. Given the Dorian Gray quality the MSM gave to its Ellison portraiture, it’s been very refreshing, somehow, to have Ellison caught on tape, revealing precisely what the MSM so desperately tried to hide. Here, in living color, is Keith Ellison saying that 9/11 was the same as the Reichstag burning (which the Nazis committed but blamed on others so as to consolidate power) — a neat little rhetorical turn that both compares Bush to Hitler and espouses the wacko beliefs of the 9/11 Truthers. This is the real Ellison, the one untouched by MSM hands. It makes you wonder how much the MSM is hiding about the other candidates they’re trying to foist on the American electorate.
Filed under: Media matters