FrankChurch wrote:Ezra, the media take her seriously, as they take Mormonism seriously. They take Sarah Palin seriously as well..
They do, but not in the way you seem to suggest. Palin is taken seriously because, for whatever reason, she motivates people. A lot of people. She has an impact. (Yes, partly because the media give her a platform, but that's only because she was already given one by the GOP.) They pay attention because she has influence.
The same with Mormonism. But I'd say that they don't actually take Mormonism seriously, they take Mormons seriously. You never see the media say much of anything about the LDS except as an identifier of someone. Mitt Romney's a Mormon. They command a significant base, they have impact, they influence. They do that even without the media's help. To not take that seriously would be a serious oversight.
Chomsky doesn't have the kind of influence that draws that kind of attention and for a simple reason---everything about him is anti-power base. He urges the dismantling of "movements." Which isn't going to happen. People are lemmings. Chomsky refused the crown, he controls no great numbers of people, he influences nothing in that way, so he represents a sideshow. Not fair? True and true. But ultimately, he is ignored because he has no effect on large numbers.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimacy of what Palin and Mormonism possess on their own. Mormonism is a crackpot grassroots cult that made "good" by surviving long enough to become a large movement, Sarah Palin is a small intellect with a charismatic demeanor and a tagline. But they influence large numbers, for better or worse. Till you understand this about how the media is attracted, you will always scratch your head in wonder. I mean, shit, they treated Michael Jackson "seriously." Numbers, man. Numbers.
But this is also why the media takes people like Pat Robertson and Rick Warren seriously and tags along with the Westboro boys. Numbers influenced. It's also why christianity and Islam are taken seriously. Not so much for what they say but for the numbers of people they influence.