My husband and I, through a combination of gifts, cheap offers from TicketMaster, and cashing in on MyCokeRewards, have acquired a vast collection of magazine subscriptions. One of the publications that we subscribe to is Rolling Stone; a magazine I tend to disagree with politically almost 100%. In nearly every issue, RS publishes a “Threat Assessment” at the bottom of their political story for the issue. If you are unfamiliar with the Threat Assessment, these are the basics: across the bottom of 2 pages lies a political continuum. On the left, things RS considers “good” and “with us” (read: liberal), portrayed with a blue arrow. On the right lie the things RS considers “bad” or “against us,” AKA conservative, portrayed with a red arrow. Items on the “with us” side do not have to be celebrations of a liberal victory – they can also be celebrations of conservative failures. Whether or not the things portrayed on the “against us” side are ACTUALLY conservative is not the point. If it involves a Republican, something that goes against the Obamessiah, or is otherwise contrary to a progressive mindset, it is automatically “conservative” and, therefore, bad.
As I perused my first issue of RS from October 29, 2009, I came across the Threat Assessment for the issue. After reading it, I have come to the conclusion that the priorities of those who run the iconic music magazine are SERIOUSLY out of whack. Listed on the “with us” side is this little gem of distressing information: “Only 2.8 percent of Oklahoma high school students would pass U.S. citizenship test.” Apparently RS wants our high school students to remain uninformed about the government and ignorant of their rights. At least, that is what the positioning of this fact on the continuum would suggest.
The “against us” side of the continuum is far more distressing, and a much stronger indicator of whacked-out priorities. What could be worse than a 9.8% unemployment rate? What could be more unsettling than Mein Kampf manga raking in the money in Japan? What’s more outrageous than a Facebook poll asking “Should Obama be killed?” CLEARLY, Sarah Palin and the loss of the Chicago Olympics trump all of these issues as immediate pressing threats, at least according to RS.
I see several major problems with this: 1) People publicly questioning whether Obama should be killed seems like a pretty big threat to me. I don’t like the man, and I don’t agree with his policies, but Lord knows no rational American wants the President of the United States to be killed. Good grief. 2) Our unemployment rate is now over 10%. Detroit is literally drying up and blowing away. States with tourism-based economies like Nevada and Florida are suffering because people can’t afford to take vacations. I would say that, if this trend continues (and it WILL get worse before it gets better), this is a pretty huge threat. 3) Sarah Palin no longer holds a public office. She is not a governor, a vice president, or a judge. She has not been appointed to any official positions. How can the publication of her book, an autobiography about her life before politics and during the McCain campaign, be a larger threat than massive unemployment and questions about assassinating the president? 4) Out of all of these things, why is “Conservatives cheer[ing] Chicago’s Olympics loss” the most threatening? Records have shown that the Olympics traditionally cost cities more in preparation and construction than they make in revenue from the Games. It really wasn’t a huge loss for Chicago, just an embarrassment for Obama, which explains why RS feels so threatened by it.
Rolling Stone cannot handle an opinion different from their own, despite their claims about loving diversity. This is why they feel threatened by Palin. They also cannot stand the thought of their precious savior being embarrassed or contradicted, which is why they feel threatened by the Olympics loss and, more broadly, anything that proves immune to Obama’s golden touch.
For verification of what I’ve stated here, see Rolling Stone, issue 1090, October 29, 1009, p. 42-43.
This is the first in what will surely be an ongoing series of blogs about the ridiculosity (yeah, I just used a made-up word) of the “Threat Assessment.”