I have just sent the following letter to the editor of the UCD University Observer, in response to their latest issue (and its freefall into unadulterated ultra-liberal propaganda). Their website is here, but their latest issue (containing the editorial and opinion piece to which I refer) doesn't seem to have been uploaded yet.
I wonder if they will print it?
It is a cliché (and like most clichés partly true) that every interest group feels that "the meeja is agin us". It is also an accepted state of affairs that student's unions, and the student press in general, will align with the liberal-progressive philosophy that has been pushed upon young people for decades now, mostly through the influence of the entertainment industry, the advertising industry (hedonistic individualism is good for sales) and "tenured radicals" in academe.
However, even though I accept that the student press will be a vehicle for the trendy (or "progressive") social thinking of our day, and even though I believe in the freedom of the press and your entitlement to take a particular editorial stance, I was disappointed by the unabashed bias of your October 16th issue, which didn't even make a pretence towards balance or objectivity.
Not only did your editorial fail to even acknowledge any arguments against abortion, it also offensively linked "silence" on support for abortion with a reluctance to talk about mental health issues. There is no resemblance at all between these two things-- abortion is the taking of human life, while mental health is its flourishing. You then compare moral conservatism, (for instance opposition to abortion) with economic "conservatism". In fact, social liberalism and free market economics-- what one writer has wittily described as "acts of capitalism between consenting adults"-- go hand in hand, especially in their too-narrow definition of "consent".
You also carried an article in favour of same-sex marriage, by Enrique Anarte Lazo, (but no balancing article in favour of the time-honoured definition of marriage). Mr. Lazo says: "To solve these problems in a satisfactory way, it is necessary to create a space of dialogue. That is why European democracies have always been an example to follow. The myth collapses, however, with topics like gay rights or abortion, which both require forgetting about theological and religious thinking, and focusing on legal, social and political argument". This seems to mean that democracy is a fine thing in its way, but not when it comes to liberal sacred cows such as same-sex marriage and abortion, which should be imposed regardless of the will of the people. Mr. Lazo is also wrong to imply that those opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage rely upon religious arguments to make their case. Usually, as a matter of fact, they make their arguments upon philosophical, social and other grounds. But they are absolutely entitled to argue on religious grounds if they so choose. That's democracy.
Unfortunately, it seems as though The University Observer has become little more than a propaganda sheet.
Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh
74, Sillogue Gardens