Media Have a Proposition for Calif. Churches: You're Bigots
The liberal media worked overtime against
After the Nov. 4 vote, the media quickly jettisoned professional objectivity – and respect for democracy – to spin a yarn about the pain of victimhood.
As reported by CMI's Colleen Raezler, ABC, NBC and CBS aired a total of 13 news stories on Prop. 8 in the five days following the vote. Six of the stories, nearly half, emphasized the reactions of the roughly 18,000 same-sex couples whose
The worst example we've seen of TV reporting on Prop. 8 protests came from the local CBS station in
Print journalists have more freedom, time and space than their broadcast colleagues, so they should have produced a more balanced account of the Prop. 8 controversy. They did, for roughly 48 hours.
Initial press reports last Wednesday and Thursday included statements by Prop. 8 supporters and the vital fact that a 70-30 majority of African-American voters pushed Prop. 8 over the top. By Friday, Nov. 7, however, news reports focused on “civil rights” street theater by fuming Prop. 8 protesters. The villains of the piece, Catholics, evangelical Protestants and especially Mormons, no longer were allowed to explain their views or even to defend themselves against ugly charges of bigotry. The pivotal support of black voters quickly dropped out of the story.
Newsrooms apparently followed the lead of the editorial pages. A Nov. 6 New York Times editorial condemned “the ugly outcome of these ballot fights,” referring to votes in three states –
In this editorial, the Times broke new ground in political philosophy. Who needs all that Founding Fathers blather about government requiring the consent of the governed when razor-thin 4-3 judicial majorities are creating new human “rights?” Maybe
The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board chimed in on Nov. 7, describing popular support for one man-one woman marriage as “discrimination and nonsense.” The New York Times ran seven letters to the editor on Prop. 8 – six by opponents.
On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Los Angeles Times posted a story headlined “Anti-Prop. 8 protests spring up in California.” A photo showed angry protesters waving signs accusing Mormons of “hatred,” and proclaiming “I am a second class citizen.” The Times quoted several speakers at an anti-Prop. 8 rally, including a woman who called traditional marriage supporters “bigots, bigots, bigots.” Ignoring minimal standards of decency, not to mention journalist ethics, the Times gave Prop. 8 supporters no opportunity to defend their honor.
A Nov. 10 AP/New York Times story, “In California, More Protests Over a Vote On Marriage,” focused on 1,000 protesters gathered Sunday outside Saddleback Church, the evangelical Protestant megachurch pastored by Rick Warren. The story described protesters as “advocates of equal rights for gay people.” A “volunteer” from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay pressure group, accused Saddleback of spreading “misinformation” and telling “obvious lies.”
The reporter didn't try very hard to allow Saddleback to respond: “A message for comment left at the church's main office, which was closed on Sunday, was not immediately returned.”
A secular reporter can be forgiven for not knowing that Christian church offices are usually closed on Sundays. But shouldn't he have learned, somewhere along the line, that churches themselves are open for business? The reporter was on the Saddleback campus. If he had bothered to peek through the windows, he surely would have seen a few people milling about. Did it not occur to this intrepid soul to walk into the church and ask Pastor Warren to reply?
Perhaps he was too busy bonding with those angry protesters.