Human Events,Â 28 April 2003, p. 22.
PBS Documentary Promotes The Myths of 'Domestic Violence'
Film Stereotypes Males as Spousal Brutes
BY STEPHEN BASKERVILLE
Contrary to the film's title, Domestic Violence, there is little in the film actually on "domestic violence." The film is entirely on how government officials and government-funded operatives discuss domestic violence. It is rather as if one did make a film about Nazis at work and called it "Jews in Germany."
The film depicts how people paid by the government to disseminate misinformation about men do, not surprisingly, disseminate misinformation about men. We then see how government officials who are paid to separate children from their fathers and jail the fathers without trial do in fact separate children from their fathers and jail the fathers without trial.
Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman never questions or challenges what his subjects say. More important, he never allows the objects of this media-disseminated gossip and hearsay a word in their own defense.
He does offer a glimpse of the semi-totalitarian processing centers for those accused of domestic violence, with mass arrests, mass arraignments via television, and mass incarcerations without trial. Yet even this is obviously whitewashed.
"Its very hard to get into a shelter," Wiseman admits. So obviously he is an approved propagandist, seeing what the shelter directors want him to see. This is reminiscent of glowing reports by credulous westerners who were given carefully controlled tours of the Soviet Union.
In reviewing the film, the Washington Post reports that "one-fifth to one-third" of dating teenagers are "being abused verbally, mentally, emotionally, and-or physically by their partners." So all this domestic "violence," it turns out, is not violent at all. It is verbal, mental, and emotional ("or" physical). In other words, it is a violation of no law and not criminal but whatever the "victim" says it is.
"Whatever the woman says is what we believe," says one police officer as a man is led away in handcuffs.
"I didnt wish to . . . make a cliché" out of domestic violence, says Wiseman. In fact, this self-indulgent spectacle is seven hours of government clichés.
Some troublesome facts viewers are never told by Wiseman or the Post:
The Post says "one out of every three women" experiences domestic violence. In fact, no evidence indicates that women are the only or even the primary victims of domestic violence, and a quarter century of academic research attests they are not.
Most domestic violence arises during divorce and child custody. An intact family is the safest place for women and children.
The Post says, "Child abuse occurs in 70 percent of families that experience domestic violence." Child abuse takes place overwhelmingly in the homes of single mothers. In other words, a father is the natural protector of his children.
Post reviewer Judith Gillies says "More than 503,400 women in the United States are stalked by an intimate partner each year." But the US Justice Department defines stalking as any "nonconsensual communication." Legally, a father trying to phone his children is "stalking."
Domestic violence hysteria and fear-mongering is now corrupting and discrediting once-reputable news organizations like the New York Times and the Washington Post.
The BBC, once respected for its impartial documentaries, recently broadcast
an astounding ten-day blitz on domestic violence that Melanie Phillips of the
Daily Mail calls "a propaganda onslaught . . . the kind of concerted
propaganda exercise one might expect to see in time of war, with men targeted
for attack here by what might be described as gender fascism."
Throughout the U.S. and other democracies, knowingly innocent men are accused of "violence" that everyone in the courtroom knows did not take place. These men lose their children, homes, and savings. They are subject to coerced psychotherapy and coerced confessions and jailed without trial and with no semblance of due process.
No one even denies this is taking place. Defenders only insist that, as always, the end justifies the means. Yet neither PBS nor any other media outlets expose this in seven-hour documentaries.
Â Â Â Dr. Baskerville teaches political science at Howard University.