Betsy Speicher

ARI on CBS Evening News

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Dr. Onkar Ghate, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, appeared on last night's CBS Evening News to speak against the growing number of local governments seeking to limit fast food restaurants in poor neighborhoods because of an alleged "epidemic" of obesity. Dr. Ghate's appearance was brief, but it was the only voice in the story opposing this paternalistic assault on businesses and consumers. You can view the video on CBSnews.com here.

We do not know how long the video will remain available .

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I don't know why CBS bothered to have him on. It was a lengthy segment promoting activists trying to control what kinds of food stores are allowed to exist under what they called "health zoning". Onkar Ghate may have "appeared" in order "to speak against" it, but he was only shown for a few seconds with barely a sentence that went by so fast that few viewers could have caught what he said, let alone understood his position. I suppose that showing more of what he actually said would have been too damaging to the purpose of the "news" propaganda. The clearest demonstration against the propaganda was inadvertently in its promotion of a "healthy" vegetable stand that few people used, showing why the demonized stores are there: popular demand.

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I don't know why CBS bothered to have him on.

A thought that comes to mind was when Dagny is riding with her rotten brother to a "debate" on the subject: "Is Rearden Metal a lethal product of greed?" Of course she instantly apprehends the evil of it, and the reason why she was invited, and gets out of the car.

I think there are times when the venue and the subject itself are of a nature that to even attend it to speak against it could be too much of a sanction, especially if one's opposition is abruptly terminated by the bad guys at their will. For example, it would be morally treasonous for Bill Gates to attend a debate titled "Which is the greater of Microsoft's evil: because it is a monopoly or because it's a greedy American corporation that makes a huge profit?" The logical fallacy of the complex question ("Are you still beating your wife?") also applies here, and I think it's a favorite tool of the leftists who want to advance an agenda as though fallacious conclusions have already been proven and therefore assumed (e.g. global warming, with debates over "What should we do about man-made global warming?")

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Come on. A spokesman for ARI is on a major network's evening news. That's good.

I don't know about others, but I'm tired of seeing increasing penetration of Objectivism in the national press and culture at large, and hearing laments from other Objectivists about this or that detail. It would be like getting a free meal at a fancy restaurant and complaining about the color of the tablecloth.

I haven't seen the clip, but getting one sentence broadcast to the nation with ARI's name attached is good advertising. For free, even!

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Come on. A spokesman for ARI is on a major network's evening news. That's good.

I don't know about others, but I'm tired of seeing increasing penetration of Objectivism in the national press and culture at large, and hearing laments from other Objectivists about this or that detail. It would be like getting a free meal at a fancy restaurant and complaining about the color of the tablecloth.

I haven't seen the clip, but getting one sentence broadcast to the nation with ARI's name attached is good advertising. For free, even!

I agree. I'm sure that Onkar Ghate had not idea his response would be cut to one sentence in response by the editors. A one sentence pearl is better than no pork chops at all.

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Come on. A spokesman for ARI is on a major network's evening news. That's good.

I don't know about others, but I'm tired of seeing increasing penetration of Objectivism in the national press and culture at large, and hearing laments from other Objectivists about this or that detail.

In general I'm a huge fan of any exposure that ARI gets in the "mainstream" press, and have said so many times. However, any good thing has a context, and not all contexts permit the good. If an Objectivist is not given time to state his ideas, what is the purpose of being there? Why do the Al Gores want to try to use science and scientists to support their global warming propaganda, but do their best to suppress dissenting opinions? One scientist (I forget his name at the moment) actually had to threaten a lawsuit to have his name removed from a prominent GW document; they were using his (and who knows how many other) names as a count of the number of scientists advocating the report's content, never mind that he disagreed with its conclusions though he'd been involved in the report.

I think that ARI/Objectivism/Ayn Rand is getting prominent and respectable enough itself that the "mainstream" leftists are trying to use them for their own ends, just as the GW mystics need the respectability of science and scientists to achieve their goals. They don't want the ideas to be actually heard but they do want to give the illusion of approval, of the importance, of the subject matter and the leftists' position on it, by Objectivists. The leftists are skilled at that sort of deception and while I don't think it will go too far in this context, it bears consideration. And that approach *has* gone far for the environmentalists.

Any such problem would be solved (or nearly enough) if ARI simply had the reasonable condition that any of their speakers must be promised a certain minimum percentage (or specific seconds/minutes) of the air time to speak.

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I've seen the clip now and I don't see any reason to object. It may be one sentence, but there's a lot packed in to it. One sentence was terrific, and sure, more would be even better.

Anyway, I've said my piece and I'll let it stand.

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