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Marry Non-Humans? Funny TV Sound-bite Flattens Slippery Slope

Date: Jul 01, 2010
Word Count: 2000 words
Cross-Reference: slippery slope, Gretchen Carlson, John Stossel

On the "Stossel" show on FOX Business Network, a segment discussing the prohibition of polygamy ended with everyone laughing from an unexpected new sound-bite - a humorous response which may now be repeated to flatten the "marrying non-humans" slippery slope argument.

=============     OUTLINE     ============== 
3.   "SO   I   GOOGLED   IT" 
5.   "I'M   A   MOM   NOW,   OK?" 
When   defending   big   government   marriage   control,   one-man/one-woman   proponents   routinely   default   to   a   "slippery   slope"   argument,   one   way   or   another.     To   oppose   same   sex   marriage,   such   marriage   controllers   assert   that   it   is   a   slippery   slope   to   polygamy.     To   oppose   polygamous   marriage,   such   marriage   controllers   assert   that   it   is   a   slippery   slope   to   "marrying   non-humans." 
To   fully   flatten   the   first   of   those   two   slippery   slope   assertions,   National   Polygamy   Advocate,   Mark   Henkel,   has   repeatedly   stated   his   well-established   sound-bite   in   numerous   media   interviews   throughout   the   years.     Namely,   "Anti-polygamy   is   the   real   slippery   slope   that   led   to   same   sex   marriage."     If   government   had   never   become   involved   in   re-defining   marriage   to   exclude   consenting-adult   polygamy,   then   government   later   re-defining   marriage   to   include   same   sex   marriage   would   never   have   been   possible. 
On   March   4,   2010,   Henkel   created   yet   another   sound-bite   on   television   which   now   also   flattens   the   second   slippery   slope   assertion.     The   new   sound-bite   was   first   created   on   John   Stossel's   show,   "Stossel,"   on   FOX   Business   Network.     For   a   segment   on   government   prohibition   of   polygamy,   Stossel   had   invited   two   professional   guests   sitting   together   with   him   on-stage,   Mark   Henkel   and   Gretchen   Carlson. 
Gretchen   Carlson   co-hosts   a   separate   talk   show   on   FOX   News,   called,   "FOX   &   Friends."     The   year   before,   on   May   11,   2009,   Carlson   had   been   a   guest   on   Bill   O'Reilly's   FOX   News   show,   "The   O'Reilly   Factor,"   in   a   segment   dealing   with   "triads"   and   polyamory.     Following   her   guest   appearance   on   O'Reilly's   show,   Carlson   perpetuated   the   same   topic   about   "triads"   on   her   own   talk   show   the   next   day.     Neither   show   was   actually   about   marriage-committed   polygamy.   O'Reilly   intentionally   mis-portrayed   polyamory   and   "triads"   as   if   those   less-committed   relationships   are   the   same   things   as   committed   polygamous   marriage.     Carlson's   polyamorous   guest   was   a   married   woman   who   explained   how   she   only   wanted   the   other   woman   in   her   "triad"   to   remain   as   a   girlfriend   instead   of   as   a   wife.     As   Carlson   consistently   presented   herself   as   a   "concerned"   everyday-mom   who   is   "worried"   about   society,   she   immediately   defaulted   to   the   slippery   slope   argument.     The   discussion   even   descended   to   the   absurdity   of   "marrying   turtles." 
Gretchen   Carlson   is   a   very   professional   and   friendly   woman   who   has   indeed   built   her   image   on   FOX   News   as   being   the   "concerned   everyday-mom"   -   a   genuinely   nice   woman   with   whom   everyday-mothers   around   the   country   (sometimes   stereotyped   as   "soccer   moms")   could   "easily"   relate.     Projecting   this   persona,   Carlson   routinely   plays   the   overly   simplistic   "I'm   a   mom!"   card   in   political   discussions. 
3.   "SO   I   GOOGLED   IT" 
On   December   8,   2009,   comedian   John   Stewart,   on   his   show,   "The   Daily   Report,"   humorously   "called   her   out"   regarding   her   projected   persona.   The   segment   was   called,   "Gretchen   Carlson   Dumbs   Down."     The   report   showed   three   separate   examples   on   "FOX   &   Friends"   when   Carlson   acted   flustered,   needing   to   have   a   term   defined,   such   as   "ignoramus,"   "double-dip   recession,"   and   "czar."     With   dramatic   effect   of   raising   her   hands   to   the   sides   of   her   head   like   a   "confused   mom"   and   of   widening   her   eyeballs   as   "a   doe   in   the   headlights,"   she   would   explain   how   she   solved   her   confusion.   "So   I   googled   it,"   Carlson   would   say   as   she   would   then   read   the   "googled"   definition. 
Stewart   humorously   noted   how   these   very   simple   terms   seem   to   "confuse   the   ol'   girl."     He   chuckled   that   it   didn't   seem   plausible   that   Carlson   would   need   to   "google"   such   easily   known   terms   -   unless,   of   course,   she   was   intentionally   dumbing   herself   down.     Hence,   that   point   raised   the   question   about   Gretchen   Carlson's   actual   background.     With   more   comedic   delivery,   Stewart   smilingly   teased,   "So   I   'googled'   Gretchen   Carlson.     And   guess   what   came   up?     She   was   valedictorian   of   her   high   school,   and   went   to   Stanford,   and   graduated   with   honors,   and   spent   time   studying   abroad   at   Oxford.   Yeah,   not   the   Mississippi   Oxford   -   the   Europe   one!     Not   to   mention   she   won   the   Miss   America   Crown   in   1989   by   doing   this."     The   video   then   cut   to   a   young   Gretchen   Carlson   very   impressively   playing   a   quite   difficult   classical   violin   arrangement.    
Clearly,   Gretchen   Carlson   is   no   intellectual   slouch,   having   a   very   elite   education   and   being   an   accomplished   classical   violinist.     Certainly,   any   woman   with   such   an   obviously   high   level   of   intelligence   and   accomplishment   would   not   need   to   "google"   such   easily   known   terms. 
So,   when   National   Polygamy   Advocate,   Mark   Henkel,   appeared   on   the   "Stossel"   show   on   March   4,   2010,   he   was   seated   next   to   this   obviously   intellectual   woman   who   instead   portrays   herself   as   an   "easily   confused   everyday-mom"   persona. 
And   indeed,   Gretchen   Carlson   portrayed   that   "confusion"   quite   well   on   the   "Stossel"   show. 
From   the   very   beginning   of   the   segment,   Gretchen   Carlson   very   dramatically   and   emotionally   declared   her   heart-felt   feelings   that,   "A   marriage   -   to   me   -   is   a   union   of   two   people." 
Mark   Henkel   happily   acknowledged   her   right   to   her   opinion   as   such   a   right   being   a   part   of   the   beauty   of   America.     Pre-empting   any   "re-defining   marriage   slippery   slope"   in   advance,   Henkel   then   declared,   "To   impose   that   belief,   however,   and   re-define   the   definition   of   marriage   that,   anthropologically   and   biblically,   has   always   included   polygamy,   is   actually   the   first   form   of   re-definition   to   use   big   government   to   re-define   marriage:   for   one-man/one-woman." 
John   Stossel   asked,   "But   how   is   big   government   playing   a   role   here?"     Henkel   answered,   "Because   it   is   licensing,   defining,   and   controlling   the   definition   of   marriage,   as   opposed   to   letting   what   freely   consenting   adults   choose   to   contract   with   each   other." 
Seemingly   not   realizing   that   Henkel   had   thereby   just   answered   what   she   was   then   about   to   argue   after   him,   Carlson   still   went   ahead   and   made   her   slippery   slope   argument:   "See,   that's   my   concern   about   government   becoming   involved   in   this,   and   re-defining   the   term   of   what   marriage   is,   because,   as   I   said   on   the   O'Reilly   Factor,   it's   a   slippery   slope   to   me.     So   then   what   is   next,   after   that,   that   we   call   marriage?"      
Continuing   that   thought   without   interruption,   Carlson   immediately   intensified   her   persona.     Using   expressively   emotional-sounding   "mom-voice"   and   mannerisms   for   emphatic   effect,   Gretchen   Carlson   concluded,   "And   that   will   come   into   play   in   society,   when   I   try   and   teach   my   children.     It's   just   become   so   confusing!" 
5.   "I'M   A   MOM   NOW,   OK?" 
Sincerely   trying   to   help   her   out   of   her   seeming   "confusion,"   Mark   Henkel   immediately   re-iterated   his   original   point   with   greater   clarity.     Using   one   of   his   past   renowned   sound-bites,   Henkel   responded,   "But   the   truth   is,   anti-polygamy   is   the   real   slippery   slope   that   led   to   same-sex   marriage.   If   government   wasn't   involved   re-defining   marriage   to   exclude   polygamy,   in   the   first   place,   and   there   wasn't   the   licensing,   defining,   and   controlling   of   marriage   by   big   government,   anyway,   then   the   homosexuals   pursuing   same   sex   marriage   wouldn't   even   be   pursuing   any   legal   construct   -   because   it   wouldn't   matter   what   consenting   adults   contract   with   each   other." 
Carlson's   persona   continued   even   more   emphatically   into   the   next   question,   wherein   John   Stossel   turned   to   Henkel   and   said,   "You   make   an   interesting   point   about   Hugh   Hefner."    
Henkel   replied   with   another   one   of   his   trademark   sound-bites,   "Yes,   well   absolutely.     Here   we   are   in   a   society   where   we   can   have   a   show   -   Hugh   Hefner   has   a   show   with   3   live-in   girlfriends,   and   that's   all   super-buzz   in   Hollywood   and   everybody   'loves   it!'     But   if   he   was   to   marry   them,   suddenly   he's   a   criminal.     That's   insane!" 
Gretchen   Carlson   then   jumped   in   to   say   that   she   does   not   "love"   that   show.     With   all   dramatic   effect,   and   definitely   pulling   out   the   "mom-card,"   Carlson   continued,   "Whether   or   not   they're   married,   I   don't   want   my   kids   watching   that   show."     Henkel   interjected   that   he   agreed.     Not   missing   a   beat,   though,   Carlson   continued   her   mama-drama,   "That's   what   I   care   about.   I'm   a   mom   now,   ok?     So,   I   care   about   what   society   my   kids   are   going   to   grow   up   in."     Spreading   her   eyes   fully   wide   open   and   straightening   up   on   the   edge   of   her   seat   for   the   most   dramatic   impact   yet,   Carlson   actually   shouted:   "They're   six   and   five   now!" 
The   discussion   throughout   the   segment   continued   to   be   very   positive   and   friendly   between   Henkel   and   Carlson.   When   he   was   explaining   how   some   States'   laws   actually   make   free   speech   a   crime   for   a   married   man   to   simply   call   an   unlicensed   girlfriend   as   a   "wife,"   Gretchen   Carlson   was   so   comfortable   with   Mark   Henkel   that   she   even   reached   down,   grabbed   his   left   hand,   and   pulled   it   up   to   inspect   it   for   a   wedding   ring.     Both   of   them   smiled   about   the   good   humor   of   it   and   the   good-natured   comfort   between   them. 
Near   the   end   of   the   segment,   John   Stossel   asked   two   anonymous   women   in   the   audience   about   their   polygamous   family.     One   of   the   women   very   eloquently   explained   that   they   agreed   with   Henkel,   that   they   were   not   looking   for   government   to   define   anyone's   marriages   or   give   them   special   tax   benefits. 
Stossel   then   gave   the   floor   to   Gretchen   Carlson   to   share   her   final   thoughts. 
Having   no   other   point   to   make,   Carlson   simply   repeated   her   original   slippery   slope   argument   -   even   though   it   had   been   repeatedly   answered   throughout   the   segment. 
Using   more   dramatic   delivery,   Carlson   said,   "I   just   say   that   that's   fine   if   you   want   to   live   that   lifestyle.     But   I   worry   that   what   you're   saying,   that   most   of   the   polygamists   don't   agree   with   you,   that   they   would   want   the   tax   benefits,   and   that   the   rest   of   us   in   society   would   end   up   paying   for   this,   and   what   else?     What   else   would   follow   this   down   the   road?     Five   people   living   together?     People   marrying   not-even   people?     I   know   that   sounds   ridiculous   but..." 
Not   willing   to   let   the   segment   end   that   way,   John   Stossel   jumped   right   in   quickly   and   said,   "No,   no,   we're   talking   about   consenting   adults   here,   because   to   animals,   we're   not...." 
Interrupting   him,   Carlson   looked   into   the   camera,   widened   her   eyeballs   yet   again   for   the   maximum   effect,   lifted   up   her   hand   near   the   side   of   her   head,   and   shouted   her   confusion,   "I,   I,   I   don't   know!" 
Mark   Henkel   instantly   recognized   the   perfect   comedic   timing   here.     Not   only   would   his   forthcoming   response   create   a   new   sound-bite,   but   it   would   also   create   a   new   teasing-approach   for   anyone   to   respond   to   any   other   topic   in   general   when   someone   seems   confused.     Mark   Henkel   "pulled   a   'Gretchen   Carlson'"       -   as   it   can   now   be   called. 
In   doing   so,   Henkel   created   his   new   sound-bite   (right   then,   on-the-fly),   completely   flattening   the   "marrying   non-humans"   slippery   slope   argument   in   a   hilarious   way.     By   teasing   her   in   such   a   friendly   yet   persuasive   way,   Henkel   helped   the   segment   come   to   a   positive   end   with   everyone   laughing. 
Even   the   very   friendly   Gretchen   Carlson   was   laughing   afterward   too.     Indeed,   after   she   heard   him   say   it,   she   smilingly   looked   right   at   Henkel.     She   appeared   to   "get"   the   deeper   background   humor   of   his   new   sound-bite   and   could   not   help   but   laugh,   too! 
Immediately   as   Carlson   had   shouted   her   final   slippery   slope   confusion,   "I,   I,   I   don't   know,"   Mark   Henkel   lifted   each   of   his   open-hands   up   to   the   sides   of   his   forehead,   teasingly   mimicking   Carlson's   mannerisms   of   a   "confused   everyday-mom."     Widening   his   eyeballs   as   a   "doe   in   the   headlights,"   and   then   swaying   each   hand   outward,   Mark   Henkel   delivered   his   new   sound-bite   with   perfect   comedic   timing. 
"Do   we   have   to   'google'   the   definition   of   'consenting   adults?'"     Making   everyone   laugh,   Henkel's   funny   sound-bite   flattened   the   slippery   slope. 

Regardless   of   her   original   anti-polygamy   perspective,   Gretchen   Carlson   was   a   truly   friendly   and   nice   woman   -   with   an   obviously   good   sense   of   humor.     She   also   might   even   have   learned   from   the   experience!     The   segment   was   taped   on   February   25,   2010,   to   air   the   following   week.     In   that   same   morning   of   the   March   4th   airdate,   John   Stossel   was   a   guest   on   Gretchen   Carlson's   show,   "FOX   &   Friends."     Plugging   the   pending   "Stossel"   show,   John   Stossel   said   to   Carlson,   "You   will   be   on   too,   as   the   special   guest,   playing   the   role   of   the   bad   authoritarian   who   wants   to   punish   people."   Gretchen   Carlson   beamed   a   huge   smile,   gave   a   hearty   laugh,   slapped   her   knee,   and   replied,   "No,   not   at   all!   I   just   happen   to   say   that   I   didn't   agree   with   polygamy."   "Only   disagreeing"   is   much   better   than   criminalizing!   Hence,   one   week   after   taping   the   segment,   Gretchen   Carlson   appeared   to   be   coming   out   of   her   slippery   slope   "confusion"–   exposing   her   actual   intelligence,   indeed.


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