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Let's talk some more about my kerfuffle with the SMSO at Disney

Dennis Prager on

I am quite certain that one reason was to protect the left. My original column on the issue, titled "Can a Conservative Conduct an Orchestra?" went viral. And it made the left look bad. Not only was the left trying to prevent conservatives from speaking ; it was now trying to prevent a conservative from not speaking -- from just making music.

Therefore, it was necessary to show that the left in Santa Monica had legitimate reasons to try to prevent me from conducting. And the only way to do that was to reaffirm that I am a hater and a bigot.

The Times writer wasted no time in portraying me that way. He wrote, "a number of them are refusing to play the fund-raiser, saying that allowing the orchestra to be conducted by Mr. Prager, who has suggested that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and incest, among other contentious statements, would be tantamount to endorsing and normalizing bigotry."

Lesson No. 1: When the mainstream media write or say that a conservative "suggested" something that sounds outrageous, it usually means the conservative never actually said it. After all, why write "suggested" and not "said" or "wrote"? Be suspicious whenever anything attributed to a conservative has no quotation marks and no source.

Seven paragraphs later -- long after having mischaracterized my words to prime the readers' perception -- the Times writer did quote me on the subject. He said, "Mr. Prager suggested that if same-sex marriage were legalized, then 'there is no plausible argument for denying polygamous relationships, or brothers and sisters, or parents and adult children, the right to marry.'"

Though no context was given, the words quoted are accurate and a source was given. It was a 2014 column I wrote about judges having hubris for overturning voters in state after state who voted to keep marriage defined as the union of a man and a woman. I was responding to then-District Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled on California's Proposition 8, which amended the state's constitution to say that defining marriage as "the union of a man and woman" is unconstitutional.

One of Judge Walker's arguments was that "Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis."

I wrote in the column, "If American society has a 'constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis,' then there is no plausible argument for denying polygamous relationships, or brothers and sisters, or parents and adult children, the right to marry."

Had The New York Times author been intellectually honest, he would have written the context and the entire quote. Or, if he had wanted to merely paraphrase me, he could have written, "Prager suggested that if same-sex marriage were legalized, there were no arguments against legalizing polygamy and adult incest."

But that would have sounded a lot less awful than saying I suggested same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy and incest.

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