Good Heavens Ms. Noonan – The Sky is not Falling
A response to Peggy Noonan’s column “The Adam Lambert Problem”,
Published in the Wall Street Journal on 18 December 2009
By Xena – co-author of the forthcoming book, On the Meaning of Adam Lambert
19 December 2009. Ms. Noonan writes “………..in a way more personal, thing to say that people who don’t care about us control our culture. In 2009 this was perhaps most vividly expressed in the Adam Lambert Problem.” Apparently Mr. Lambert does not care about Americans and he controls American culture along with other unnamed people.
It is so tempting to base an entire judgement of journalists on this single column. I have long been dismayed that standards in journalism have become so lax over the last twenty or so years, with the understanding of course that “columnists” or “commentators” have generally operated with different evidentiary standards than “reporters” or “journalists”.
Sadly the requirement for proof or evidence or even a modicum of research, to either test your hypothesis or to support it, seems to have been removed entirely from the rule book and is very thin in this column.
To introduce your theory on Americans’ apparent pessimism about the future, the data you quote in the first paragraph needs context to be relevant to your position. How do these numbers compare to previous years? What you need is a trend, but you don’t have one. We don’t know if these numbers have changed, by how much and in what direction.
Your position about Mr. Lambert’s single performance on the American Music Awards as an indicator of America’s societal collapse seems unsubstantiated. Your accusations that he does not care about Americans and that a twenty-seven year old who just issued his first album, somehow has control of American culture, would have been much stronger had you proven that you:
- watched the entire AMA show
- have actually seen an interview with Mr. Lambert, of which there are dozens
- have ever seen any other performance of Mr. Lambert’s
- identified the cabal to which Mr. Lambert belongs and who control American culture.
It appears that Mr. Lambert has made himself accessible to media representatives and you might have contacted him personally for an explanation, he’s is very open and chatty. You might have discovered yourself whether he is an “idiot” as you say and a danger to children, kittens, puppies and the elderly. He wears nail polish and dyes his hair.
Instead of quoting a witness who actually watched the AMA programme, you repeated the unnamed source from years ago, identified simply as “a social conservative” who doesn’t “care what you do in New York.” Is this the expert you are quoting to support your theories? A person who watched the show would have carried far more weight and among the 1,500 callers to ABC there must have been someone willing to come forward.
Since the show was FCC compliant, even the letter from Liberty University Law School members was not enough to prompt action. Perhaps your attention would be better spent working to change FCC rules to suit your taste in culture. Just ask for a level playing field and make all the rules apply to everyone. Then Americans will have no surprises. No one touches anyone’s else’s body anywhere at anytime. It would be quite simple to do. Simply watch the AMA performances and prohibit everything you don’t like, applied equally to men, women, gay or straight.
While you pose some interesting questions for a poll to determine the opinions of Americans on the level of vulgarity they perceive in the nation, you don’t define a key element – the “glue” to which you refer, “the glue that holds a great nation together”. What is that? Will you not need a poll to decide what the “glue” is?
So disappointing to discover that Chicken Littles are alive and well in the Wall Street Journal, a newspaper for which I have much respect, I have held a subscription for many years. I won’t judge the quality of the entire publication based on a single column that has been less than fully researched. However in the future, I will be more careful when I read your columns on subjects with which I have less acquaintanceship. Of course, we could blame all this on the bad economy and necessary economizing, rendering you unable to do the research you would have done as a seasoned professional.
Mr. Lambert’s performance that lasted about four minutes and using one of his opinions which you do not quote, but interpret, is not proof the sky is falling Ms. Noonan, yet you managed to convince many who have commented on your column, that the event was bigger than an acorn. Unfortunately there is no need for them to say whether or not they had watched the performance or were merely following other’s judgments and opinions.
A matter as large as you claim – the downgrading of American cultural, social standards and behaviour, deserves a much stronger argument than the the straw man you put up of Adam Lambert.
Xena is a writer, policy analyst and commentator who has an opinion on everything, and co-author with “Juneau” of the forthcoming book, On the Meaning of Adam Lambert!