Critiquing the Discovery Channel Hostage-Taker’s Anti-Child Stance

September 1st, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  3 Comments

No jokes, please, about the hostage situation at the Discovery Channel’s headquarters in Maryland. A nut with a gun is no laughing matter, and we certainly hope everyone gets out of that building unhurt. Even James Jay Lee, the (inevitably three-named) alleged hostage-taker.

What you’ll be hearing a lot about, in the next couple of days, is his manifesto, available here. It is a screed worth reading, both for its loopy, goofy language but also for its underlying thought process. “The demands and sayings of Lee,” as he puts it, call for Discovery and its affiliated networks to stop broadcasting shows about weaponry, and replace them with programming that reveals that the earth is under assault, especially by overpopulation. So far, okay. I’m with you, Lee. And then he demands that we stop overpopulation by declaring a moratorium on human birth. Altogether. A sample:

All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs’ places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.

You can see pretty easily how this kind of zealotry gets built. A tottering but not completely illogical mind gets hold of some good information, runs it out to its logical end, and then just keeps going. It happens every day now, encouraged by partisan media. Rand Paul spins a laissez-faire attitude to its logical conclusion, and suggests that the Civil Rights Act be dismantled, because it proceeds from the assumption that we do not have a level playing field. On the left, old radicals still say that it was worth blowing up a few buildings to stop a war that was killing thousands. And all over the world, God speaks to all sorts of groups, telling them that they’re personally selected to destroy other groups in order to save everyone else. Educated people with solidly planted psyches can filter this stuff, taking what they know to be true and discarding the rest. But not everyone is so equipped, and that’s where the trouble begins.

I’m curious to see how fast the anti-population, pro-environment, anti-Christian, anti-baby crusade this guy is on gets picked up by right-wing media. “See, this is what happens on the loony left,” those O’Reilly types are likely to say. They will conveniently leave out his vicious anti-immigration stance, I am sure. And we’re back on the same road that feeds the crazies. Too many people may not be the problem; too much airtime to fill, there’s the real culprit.


  1. stjames says:

    September 1st, 2010at 4:52 pm(#)

    I wonder if this guy’s read the new Jonathan Franzen book. One of the characters has a similar screed (but doesn’t take hostages).

  2. scottstev says:

    September 1st, 2010at 8:55 pm(#)

    I’ve never understood the need to explicate the worldview of someone who has clear let slip the bounds of rational thought. I think the closest analogy is when people try and figure out a narrative thread to the voices someone was hearing as they killed his/her own children. It doesn’t matter. There’s no satisfactory explanation. Sometimes disordered thinking produces horrible acts on the innocent.

    To the political point-scoring, I’m already seeing the tu quoque argument of “well I’ll refrain from accusing the left for this act, but they never hesitate to blame the right for every lunatic act.” Way to take the high road.

  3. TechyDad says:

    September 2nd, 2010at 11:14 am(#)


    I think it’s a way for those of us with rational minds to make sense of an irrational act. We couldn’t see ourselves strapping bombs to our chests and holding people hostage over any causes we are for (or against). We might fight for things we support or oppose via rallies, contacting congressfolk, blogs, etc, but committing violence to make our point just isn’t in the average person’s capacity. So when we see someone like this, we try to understand just what makes him tick. How did he get to the point where strapping on a bomb and taking people in the Discovery building hostage was the most logical thing to do?

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