Media Archives

Next Step: Accepting "Open Marriage"

Now that same-sex marriage has been accepted by some states, it’s no longer a draw for the evening news, so ABC News in America has decided to move on to the next big thing; open marriage. These are marriages where fidelity is more of a suggestion than anything else. It’s not polygamy, which at least formally acknowledges, in one manner or another, a lasting relationship with more than one spouse. Instead, open marriage, or polyamory, means two people are legally married while continuing to see other people.

So ABC News decided to present a generally positive quote-unquote “news” piece about those for whom commitment is something only for mentally disturbed people. The most critical thing said in the whole segment was that reporter Nick Watt thought it just wasn’t his thing, and that his wife wouldn’t like it. But the rest of the segment, including questions to a psychologist, was generally positive. Not a hint of an opposing viewpoint.

This is what passes for “news” in the 21st century; one-sided advocacy journalism. Even if Watt isn’t personally in favor of it, showing one side only, on a controversial topic, on a news show, is advocacy.

Do other news organizations do it? Yes, on both sides of the aisle. But while Fox News and the Wall Street Journal get lambasted anytime they don’t play it down the middle, so many liberal news watchers have such a blind spot when something like this airs. Conservative media bias is outrageous. Liberal media bias is…hey look, a unicorn!

The other issue, of course, is that those who said that same-sex marriage would lead to a slippery slope have been, yet again, proved absolutely on target. We aren’t falling for it, but the news media is pushing.

    A Chilling Effect

    What if I told you that ice levels in Antarctica have reached 35-year record highs? What if I told you that the rise in the surface temperature of the earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that? And what if I told you that the lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace?

    Well figure out what you would do if I told you, because I’m telling you. And I’ll tell you this as well; many climate scientists aren’t sure what to do. They’re trying to come up with explanations, but so far they’re just theories plucked out of thin air.

    When the facts don’t fit the theories, scientists claim that they will rework the theories. Well, so far, we’ve seen little reworking and more digging in. And here’s another “what if”; what if the media gave this as much attention as they did stories of a spot here or a point there where warming is occurring? This isn’t weather, as they love to say; this is a pause in the warming of the climate that they’re having trouble figuring out. What if people were told about this, or is liberal orthodoxy in the media having a chilling effect?

      ObamaCare Navigators Exposed

      James O’Keefe has been exposing fraud with his Project Veritas for years. The oxen that have been the target of his goring have been of the variety that liberals tend to hold dear, which is why, while saying they don’t like fraud, they typically try to marginalize him. And when that doesn’t work, people like Rachel Maddow just make stuff up.

      The latest group to find themselves in front of the cameras of Project Veritas are the ObamaCare “Navigators”, those 50,000 folks who will, if you need it, give you help in getting signed up for the Healthcare Exchanges. Once those exchanges are actually, y’know, working. They’ll get you the lowest premium, even if they have to tell you to commit fraud.

      And it’s not just the fraud that is of concern. Enrollment information is being shared with a political group called Battleground Texas, one that is trying to get more Democrats elected. There’s more in the video, and O’Keefe says this isn’t the last of what he has. Hopefully he’ll get to the issue of no federal background checks being required for these folks.

      O’Keefe’s undercover videos were a major reason that fraud was uncovered in the group ACORN, and it seems like these Navigators are cut from the same cloth. In fact, in some states, they’re one and the same, with former ACORN people forming more groups under different names and supplying people to work as Navigators.

      Yup, if you liked ACORN, you’ll love the ObamaCare Navigators, because both groups seem to have the same agenda. And competence.

        Liberal Magazine Proves Conservatives’ Point

        The magazine The Nation is a liberal-leaning publication; that much is certain. What’s not so certain is whether or not they really understand the topics they cover.

        Here’s a case in point. It recently asked it readers to sign an open letter to Wal-Mart demanding that they pay workers at least $12 an hour. However, another web site, ProPublica, reported, as good news, that, this fall, interns at the Nation Institute, who put out the magazine, will be paid minimum wage for the first time in the history of the 30-year-old program. Up until now they’d been paid at less than minimum wage, when all the while they railed against those who did just that.

        But anyway, that’s good news, right? Those overworked interns will now get the federal minimum wage and have more to spend in our economy. Well, consider this. In a statement to ProPublica on the report, The Nation said that, “We are not yet certain how this will work out long term, but for the fall we are anticipating hiring ten interns rather than twelve.”

        So they’re raising the pay, but hiring fewer workers in response. Wow, now who could have anticipated that?

          Study Shows the Sun Rose Today

          (This is one of the segments of the most recent episode of my podcast, “Consider This!”)

          The NY Times recently reported on a study that, I imagine, came as a shock to most of the Times’ readership. “News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday.” The Pew study also noted that the views of the public at large, contrary to the news reporting, are evenly divided.

          For conservatives, this is like a study showing that the sun rose this morning, or the Pope is actually Catholic. But this paranoia about news coverage does, in fact, prove the adage that it’s not paranoia because, if you have the unapproved viewpoint, they really are out to get you.

            An Inconvenient Life

            The Kermit Gosnell and Cleveland kidnapping stories have been raising some questions when it comes to the issue of abortion. Gosnell, certainly (and where it was actually covered), definitely brought back to light the issue of the fine line between abortion and infanticide., at least as abortion supporters define those terms.

            And the Cleveland kidnapping story is doing it again, from another angle.

            The problem, once again, is that at the heart of the Gosnell nightmare were the reports that he was DELIVERING late-term fetuses and THEN killing the infants — after delivery. In other words, these infants were no longer “fetuses,” according to the dictionary, when the abortionist snipped their spinal cords.

            Now, were are seeing some interesting, and related, issues emerging in Cleveland, where prosecutors are preparing to throw the book at the alleged kidnapper and torturer Ariel Castro.

            The issue is that the state prosecutor may seek the death penalty.

            Now, from the perspective of the journalists defending a consistent use of the term “fetus,” even when the term is inaccurate (see Gosnell coverage), here is the hard-news question of the moment. If the prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty for Castro in this case, who did he kill? What human persons with full dignity and legal rights, under this nation’s current legal regime, died during these alleged crimes?

            The Get Religion blog takes the angle of how (or if) the reporters "get religion", and it highlights good and bad examples. However, in the Gosnell case, the bad examples were legion. It’ll be interesting to see how the media deal with a death penalty in the Cleveland case.

              An Inconvenient Truth, Ignored

              There’s a murder trial going on in Pennsylvania. A doctor was arrested in 2011 for killing 8 people, and the trial has been going on since March 18th. Accusations of beheadings, special treatment for whites, severed feet in jars, 15-year-olds administering anesthesia, unsanitary clinic conditions that spread STDs to unsuspecting women, and multiple state agencies made aware of this but who chose to ignore what was going on.

              “What?”, you may be asking. “Why isn’t this front-page news?” Indeed, the fact that it isn’t strains credulity. It’s so unbelievable that the popular Snopes website that debunks (or in some cases, “bunks”) urban legends, felt compelled to let its readers know that, yes, that story you see being passed around in e-mail or on Facebook is, indeed, true, and not some made-up legend.

              Kirsten Powers wrote an opinion piece asking the obvious question of why this isn’t front-page news. The answer, I think, is because all this happened at an abortion clinic. Kermit Gosnell, who has been performing the cheapest and fastest abortions he could possibly perform for over 30 years, finally was arrested, but not after so much damage had already been done.

              And where is the media in all this? Well, they say they covered the arrest in 2011, so at this point it’s just a local crime issue. Right, like Aurora, and Sandy Hook, and Littleton. As the facts come out, there’s no need to cover that. Rather, let’s talk about a basketball coach behaving badly. Hey look! Rush Limbaugh said something shocking! That doesn’t happen often, right, it must be news!

              Let’s not talk about babies born alive and having their spinal cords quote-unquote “snipped”. Let’s not talk about deliveries in toilets. Let’s not talk about this little abortion shop of horrors.

              Why not? Well, as James Taranto wrote, that just might make people think hard about their stance on abortion. They might start to change their minds, two examples of which Taranto mentioned. Oh, let’s make sure they think hard about their stance on guns, or immigration, or whatever else they need to hear about to come to the liberal way of thinking. But the realities of abortion? Doesn’t fit the narrative, so the media ignore it. That’s advocacy, not just in how something’s reported, but whether it’s reported at all.

              If Kermit Gosnell had killed those women and babies with an AR-15 rifle, you know it would be national news. Or if he were a Christian. Or if he had killed abortion doctor George Tiller. Instead he was performing what the law has contorted into a Constitutional right that the Left enshrines in their political platforms. When what used to be called back-alley abortions are being done right in an alleged clinic, both the government and the media turn a blind eye to it.

              It doesn’t fit the narrative, and it might (well, it is) changing some minds on this liberal sacrament of abortion. I am of the firm belief that the politics of the issue is directly affecting its coverage. Oh, oh, that liberal media.

                The Boston Blame Game

                The smoke from the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15th had hardly had a chance to clear when the media began speculating about right-wing extremists. Folks, please, let’s take care of the wounded and bury our dead before breaking out the knee-jerk reactions, OK? It seems like after every single act like this, the media just has to have a race to see who can blame conservatives first.

                After the Aurora shooting, for example, Brian Ross apparently did a Google search for the shooter’s name, Jim Holmes, and may have hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button, before reporting that he was a Tea Party member. Turned out, of course, that some guy with the same name did belong to the Tea Party, but he wasn’t the shooter. Still, it was too good to check, it fit the narrative, and Ross reported it.

                But did they learn their lesson? Why, of course not.

                • Esquire’s Charles Pierce suggested conservatives when he wrote, “Obviously, nobody knows anything yet, but I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.”
                • MSNBC’s “journalist” Chris Matthews got in on the disgraceful speculation and claimed, “Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right.”
                • CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen told host Jake Tapper shortly after the bombings that they could be the work of “right-wing extremists” just as easily as they could be the work of Al Qaeda.

                Yeah, just like the Unabomber, Gabby Gifford’s shooter, the aforementioned Jim Holmes, and Adam Lanza. Not that they’re all far Left, mind you, but they certainly aren’t or weren’t far Right.

                To try to make it seem like this sort of unhelpful speculation was happening equally on both sides, the left-wing FreakOutNation website posted that a Fox News contributor was immediately blaming Muslims. See? Exactly the same thing, right?

                Well, except that Erik Rush has contributed to CNN as well as Fox. No mention of that. Oh, and that his was an ugly, but personal, tweet, rather than being broadcast nationally by, well, anyone. Oh yeah, exactly the same thing.

                Yes, both sides have their nuts. However, when it comes to jerking their knees around, the left-wing, mainstream media have the blame game down to a science, and they make sure you heard it here first.

                  The Science Was Settled

                  That is, during the 1970s, what they were saying about global cooling sounds quite a lot like what they’re saying today about global warming. Anthony Watts has compiled 65 stories from that era that talked up the dangers of a new Ice Age, including remedies like outlawing the internal combustion engine, population control, and the loss of democracy to save us from the coming disaster.  And these were just those available online from a time 20 years before the Internet.

                  This includes findings from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, so it’s not just a bunch of journalists getting themselves in a tizzy. So this is something for a little perspective.

                    Dealing Fairly With Pat Robertson

                    I’ve had my issues with what Pat Robertson has said in the past, and expressed them here. But the news media seems to love to just toss out items from him, even items that may be 6 years old, to keep piling on.

                    The wonderful Get Religion blog, which I recommend to any Christian, or religious person in general, covers how the press covers religion, both the good and the bad. Yesterday they had a blog post on the Pat Robertson issue, highlighting an article in The Huffington Post that has Robertson saying something he’s always been saying, and calling it news.

                    After noting that he’s not examining Robertson’s claims, only the reporting thereof, George Conger takes apart the article, noting that when Robertson said that Islam wasn’t a real religion but an economic system in 2007 (and in stronger terms back then), few cared. The Huffington Post calls the 2013 remarks "inflammatory", but if that’s so, why was nothing inflamed 6 years ago?

                    How many times can you make “inflammatory” comments before they no longer become “inflammatory” — do they become combustible, explosive, or after the passage of time — and when no fire ensues — do they simply become rude?

                    That’s a fair question.

                    And what of the actual opinion expressed? If it is incorrect, surely it could be explained why. But the Post doesn’t go into this at all.

                    The tone of offended outrage adopted by the article, that Pat Robertson has said a terrible thing, is not explored. The Huffington Post believes these sentiments are outrageous, but it does not say why. A long time ago I studied Arabic and Farsi as an undergraduate and took a number of courses in Islam. I have not kept up my studies and have lost my facilities in these languages, but I do recall the academic debates over Islam — whether it was a religion in the sense that Christianity or Judaism understood itself to be a religion, or whether it was a religio-political movement that did not bear a one to one comparison with the other Abrahamic faiths. I offer no answer to these questions. But given the unlimited space available to a Huffington Post author for an article, to denounce him without substantiation is sloppy reporting.

                    Oh and by the way…

                    And please note, Pat Robertson is not an “elder statesman of the evangelical movement. ” He is a Pentecostal Christian. There is a difference.

                    Pat Robertson has much more weekly air time than most on his own show, and thus has loads of time to speak. During those many hours of speaking, he’s bound to say something worth disagreeing with. I’ve done some disagreeing with him myself. But if a journalistic endeavor like the Huffington Post is going to do so, they need to do a far better job than this.

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