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Anti-Polygamy Bias in Media is Exposed by Three Tactics

Date: Mar 30, 2007
Word Count: 750 words
Cross-Reference: Media, anti-polygamy, bias

Any media’s use of these three tactics exposes their intentional anti-polygamy bias – it could even be called, propaganda.

Anti-polygamy   bias   is   overwhelmingly   evident   throughout   the   media.     Many   outlets   exclusively   “report”   about   polygamy   only   when   a   negative   angle   is   involved.     Simultaneously,   they   prohibit   any   nationally   established   pro-polygamy   perspective. 
Moreover,   such   anti-polygamy   bias   is   even   that   much   more   exposed   by   the   use   of   three   commonly   used   tactics. 
The   first   commonly   used   anti-polygamy   tactic   is   that   of   threading   together   anecdotal   examples   of   crimes   or   force   against   women   wherein   some   application   of   polygamy   may   have   also   occurred.      
Many   media   “gleefully”   report   the   crimes   and   trials   of   Warren   Jeffs   or   other   Mormon   polygamists   from   his   rogue   sect   on   the   border   of   Utah   and   Arizona,   the   “Fundamentalist   Church   of   Jesus   Christ   of   Latter   Day   Saints”   -   aka,   FLDS.     Such   media   will   also   “indignantly”   report   about   specific   Muslim   polygamists   where   sharia,   burqas,   and   polygamy   occur   in   both   international   or   immigrant   Islamic   communities.     And   they   will   “excitedly”   report   about   African   tribal   polygamists   from   specific   cultures   where   women   are   sometimes   treated   cruelly   and   as   property. 
In   all   such   reports,   anecdotal   examples   of   forced,   arranged,   and   underaged   marriages,   of   female   circumcision,   or   of   unlimited   control   of   women   are   exploited   to   imply   that   those   issues   represent   all   polygamy. 
But   those   anecdotes   are   not   about   polygamy   –   they   are   merely   examples   of   crimes   or   cruel   force   against   women.     Most   normal   consenting-adult   pro-polygamists   around   the   entire   country   utterly   oppose   such   things,   just   as   much   as   anyone   else.      
Clearly,   polygamy   cannot   be   defined   by   any   of   those   examples   of   criminal   actions   or   cruelties   –   just   as   monogamy   cannot   be   defined   by   examples   of   monogamous   criminals   or   wife-beaters. 
Yet,   anti-polygamists   intentionally   thread   together   anecdotal   examples   of   crimes   or   force   against   women   in   order   to   deliberately   malign   all   forms   of   polygamy.     When   this   occurs,   that   media   outlet   is   clearly   using   this   standard   tactic   of   anti-polygamy   bias. 
The   second   commonly   used   anti-polygamy   tactic   is   that   of   not   using   appropriate   adjectives   to   specify   the   form   of   polygamy   –   particularly,   when   reporting   crimes   or   abuse. 
It   is   a   fact   that   most   Americans   operate   by   either   a   Judeo-Christian   or   secular   paradigm.     Accordingly,   just   about   anything   from   the   Mormon,   Muslim,   or   African   tribal   paradigms   are   usually   dismissed   summarily.     It   is   also   a   fact   that   media   reports   which   have   connected   polygamy   to   crimes   or   force   against   women   have   also   overwhelmingly   emerged   from   those   three   specific   forms.     This   second   fact   further   compounds   Americans’   instant   dismissal   of   polygamy   when   presented   from   those   three   forms. 
Hence,   these   two   facts   transform   the   intentional   non-use   of   adjectives   into   a   subtle   but   powerful   anti-polygamy   tactic.     Instead   of   specifically   identifying   “Mormon   polygamists,”   “Muslim   polygamists,”   or   “African   tribal   polygamists,”   this   tactic   mis-identifies   them   vaguely   as   simply,   “the   polygamists.”      
But   around   the   country,   other   forms   -   such   as   Christian   polygamy   and   secular   polygamy   -   exist   too.     Moreover,   their   mainstream   and   national   consenting-adult   polygamy   activism   was   growing   long   before   anti-polygamists   began   recently   exploiting   the   rarely-internet-using   Mormon,   Muslim,   or   African   tribal   polygamists. 
Hiding   all   this,   anti-polygamists   intentionally   remove   the   adjectives.     When   this   occurs   in   any   negative   report,   that   media   outlet   is   clearly   using   this   standard   tactic   of   anti-polygamy   bias. 
The   third   commonly   used   anti-polygamy   tactic   is   that   of   intentionally   excluding   the   established   national   polygamy   rights   movement   of   consenting-adults   from   any   mention   in   the   report   whatsoever. 
Although   a   commonly   used   tactic,   not   all   media   have   employed   it.     Indeed,   the   organization   is   unmatched   in   its   media   recognition   for   national   polygamy   rights.     Its   founder,   Mark   Henkel,   has   made   historic   accomplishments.     He   first   opened   the   way   by   credibly   proving   the   scriptural   morality   of   polygamy   –   as   no   one   but   an   evangelical   Christian   could   achieve.     Henkel   established   the   “love-not-force”   model   of   acceptable   polygamy   in   practice   -   for   any   form   of   polygamy   around   the   country.     And   he   originated   the   sound-bite,   “’Polygamy   rights’   is   the   next   civil   rights   battle”   -   the   win-win   solution   of   limited   government   to   finally   end   the   marriage   debate. 
For   pro-polygamists   of   all   forms,   Henkel   has   become   the   established   voice   for   the   national   movement   for   polygamy   rights   of   consenting-adults.     But   because   the   organization’s   arguments   are   so   successfully   persuasive,   many   other   media   deliberately   seek   to   ignore   him. 
Hence,   such   anti-polygamists   intentionally   exclude   the   national   movement   from   their   reports.     When   this   occurs,   that   media   outlet   is   clearly   using   this   standard   tactic   of   anti-polygamy   bias. 
These   three   tactics   have   been   repeatedly   used   for   years. 
Ironically,   many   of   the   same   media   outlets   using   them   will   actually   purport   themselves   as   supposed   protectors   of   free   speech   and   reporters   of   facts.     But   their   use   of   these   anti-polygamy   tactics   demonstrates   that   such   media   are   neither. 
Therefore,   upon   review   of   any   media   report   about   polygamy,   any   use   of   these   three   tactics   exposes   the   media   outlet’s   intentional   anti-polygamy   bias.


Bibliographic URLs: 
[Reviewed for publication - Review Board.] 

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