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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, September 23, 2017

(Continued from last week)

During the eight-year presidency of Barack Obama, did The New York Times once describe anything he did or said as "divisive" or "contentious" (including his pre-2012 opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage)?

Lesson No. 3: Contrary evidence is omitted.

Despite all the Santa Monica musicians who supported my conducting; despite the musicians from other orchestras — including the Los Angeles Philharmonic — who asked to play when I conducted; and despite the orchestra's conductor and board members who have followed my work for decades, not one quote in the entire article described me in a positive light .

Rather, the article is filled with quotes describing me in the worst possible way. Two of the four musicians who wrote the original letter against me are quoted extensively (calling me "horribly bigoted" and saying I help "normalize bigotry"); a gay member of the orchestra is quoted accusing me of writing "some pretty awful things about gay people, women and minorities" (for the record, I have never written an awful word about gay people, women or minorities); and the former mayor's attack on me was quoted.

Lesson No. 4: Subjects are covered in line with left-wing ideology.

The subject of the article could have easily (and more truthfully) been covered in a positive way, as something unifying and uplifting.

"Despite coming from different political worlds, a leading conservative and a very liberal city unite to make music together" — why wasn't this the angle of the story?

Similarly, instead of its headline, "Santa Monica Symphony Roiled by Conservative Guest Conductor," the Times could have used a headline and reported the very opposite: "Santa Monica Symphony Stands by Conservative Guest Conductor." 

That also would have conveyed more truth than the actual headline. But the difference between "roiled by" and "stands by" is the difference between a left-wing agenda and truth.

And even with the headline as it appeared in the Times, shouldn't the story have offered quotes from supportive musicians to balance the negativity? One was left wondering why the invitation to guest-conduct was offered to such a person to begin with.

Now let's go to the Los Angeles Times, which was as negative as The New York Times, though at least its two negative columns were opinion columns — unlike The New York Times, they were not news stories, strictly speaking.

On Aug. 8, Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize winner, wrote a column headlined "How right-winger Dennis Prager politicized his own symphony gig — and declared himself the victim."

The mendacity of the title is quite something. Never in all the years I have conducted orchestras have I used the opportunity to say a political word. My sole purpose has been to conduct orchestras, raise funds for those community orchestras and bring new people to classical music. The only people to ever politicize my conducting appearances are a few left-wing musicians and politicians in Santa Monica. 

Those people made my conducting a political issue. Yet Hiltzik writes that I am the one who did. "It's Prager himself who pumped up the political component of the controversy," he says.

This is a fine example of "the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media."

It is also worth noting that every mainstream news source, like the Los Angeles Times, identified me as either "right-wing" or "conservative." Commentators and talk show hosts on the left, however, are virtually never identified as "left-wing" or "liberal." This is because in the closed world of the left, the left is the norm and the right is the aberration.

Hiltzik also wrote that "many in the orchestra find Prager's views noxious." That was after writing, "So far, seven musicians have said they won't perform ... leaving 70 still on the roster."

Apparently, about 1 out of 10 is "many." (Hiltzik also didn't mention the equal number of musicians from other orchestras who asked to play when I conducted.)

Then there was the column by the Los Angeles Times classical music critic, Mark Swed.

He wrote: "Can a divisive public conservative amateur musician conduct an orchestra? That's asking for trouble." 

Note again the word "divisive" — only conservatives divide because, again, in the mind of the left, left is normative. And in case you missed it the first time, Swed later wrote about my "militant polarizing of issues."

As a conservative, I am not only divisive; I am a militant polarizer.

By: Dennis Prager
(FrontPage Mag)

(To Be Continued Next Week)