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Guest Commentary
The ABCs of Liberal 'Journalism'

By Robert Knight
Culture & Family Institute
May 5, 2005

(AgapePress) - Truth seekers have been spoiled lately by talk radio, The Washington Times, Fox News Channel, WorldNetDaily,,, Drudge,,, and pro-family websites like Given the alternatives, I've been enjoying the absence of the kind of overt liberal propaganda that I had lamented but taken for granted once upon a time.

Oh, sure, I'll leaf through the dependably liberal Washington Post or Los Angeles Times on occasion, just to see how they'll spin something. I used to work for the Times as an editor and writer, so I still wish them well. Frequently, there's some good, strong reporting. That's when I get to thinking that maybe the "mainstream media" don't have to be knee-jerk liberals all the time.

So I tuned in this week to a network news program, with the expectation that they would at least pretend to be fair.

It took only ten minutes to dash my hopes.

It was unvarnished liberal propaganda, beginning with a hit piece on the military. The Army, Marines and even the National Guard are having difficulty getting recruits, we were told. Alarming figures were shown. The network -- let's call it ABC -- managed to find a disgruntled guardsman in Iraq and then showed a teenager's taped exposé of a team of corrupt recruiters. The segment also showed a portion of the Army's latest TV ad, which the reporter described as "slick." Funny, you don't hear the networks referring to their other advertisers as "slick." Anyway, who'd think of joining the military after watching this? What a bunch of losers.

After portraying the military as a sad, devious and fading institution, the cameras turned their tender mercies on conservative Christians as part of a series called "Under God." It began with a teaser during the break, in which a child is shown from a ground-view angle, looking up at a menacing man with a black leather strap. "Oh, come on," I said aloud. "Can't you be more subtle?" The voiceover then promised something like this: "When we return, we'll examine corporal punishment and how fundamentalist Christians use the Bible to justify it."

As good as their word, the show returned with a segment that appeared to have been edited with help from People for the American Way, a group formed by Hollywood producer Norman Lear to smear conservative Christians. After a parent showed off the black strap, the report did show a Bible page with a highlighted Proverbs 13:24: "He who spares his rod hates his son." For some reason, they left out the second part of the proverb: "But he who loves him disciplines him promptly."

The ABC reporter mentioned Focus on the Family in passing as a main perpetrator of the ghastly practice of spanking. The report also showed a guy who makes wooden paddles for spanking, and focused in on the slogan printed on them: "Never Spank in Anger." A guy explained that spanking should be quick and effective, and you tell the child you love him afterward. Well, okay to that. But that was the highlight for us pro-spanking folks. They moved on to interview liberal Christians who favor "nonviolence." One of these gentle folk, apparently coaxed out of a commune's cave in Oregon, said movingly that children can't be "treated like animals." The reporter noted that lots of religious denominations now frown on corporal punishment.

The biggest spanking, however, was administered by the reporter later in the segment, when she said that conservative Christian groups routinely dismiss "studies that show spanking harms children." No actual studies were referenced, nor any evidence that might counter this sweeping assertion.

Christians weren't given the chance to articulate why a carefully administered spanking can help keep a kid out of trouble and make him feel that he is loved. Nobody explained why parents who are too indifferent or timid to punish their kids are setting them up for disappointment down the road. The line between abuse and good discipline seemed paper thin.

Next, we saw an update on the case involving a 13-year-old girl who wants to have an abortion except for objections from the meanies from Florida's social services who think the decision is a bit large for a 13-year-old to make on her own. These folks who are trying to spare the girl an abortion are the same nefarious buttinskis who said Terri Schiavo, who wasn't dying, shouldn't be starved to death. What do they know? The network described the girl as "the young woman," reported that a court had decided she could abort her baby (that's progress!), and then moved briskly on to other stories.

I turned off the TV at that point, mumbling, "They still don't get it. In fact, if anything, they're getting worse!"

My wife wasn't home at the time. Had she caught me watching the network news again, she would have located the remote and switched to the Weather Channel as an act of mercy.

Used with the permission of Concerned Women of America. Robert Knight is director of the Culture & Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America.

2005 AgapePress all rights reserved.

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