Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dear Kos, The Word is, "Context"

The fine people at the Daily Kos (I refuse to link to them) are extatic. The FBI supposedly supports Newsweek's account of events at Guantanamo. If you look at what they are citing you find they they apparently slept through the class about context.Michelle Malkin: GUANTANAMO BAY: THE REST OF THE STORY points out that what Kos et al are claiming as vendication for Newsweek are nothing more than what the detainees were claiming.
This brings up a point about context. Pne of the things that my exegesis professor, the late Dr. Robert Lyon used to pound into our thick heads was three letters, C.I.E.: Context Is Everything. You can't just lift out the words that suit you and divorce them from the context in which they were said/written. If I say something like, "If you were to say to me, 'It was God who dictated the mass murderer's actions', then I would have to say I don't believe in God." you cannot report, "J Rob doesn't believe in God" because that is not what I said.
The second problem with the folk at Kos is that they are subscribing to the same fallacy they would deride a fundamentalist Christian for. Namely the idea that reporting/portrayal is the same thing as endorsement/advocacy. Again, context is everything. The report they cite does nothing more or less than report what some detainees have claimed. It does not substantiate the claims at all.

No comments: