Tag archives: media

The Media Still Doesn’t Get It: Conservatives Tend to Vote Conservative

by Dan Hart

November 6, 2020

Four years after one of the most shocking presidential upsets in American history, and three days after another election that is too close to call, a vast swath of the mainstream media still has not figured out (or perhaps simply chooses not to acknowledge) why almost half of American voters filled in the oval for Donald Trump.

While it is certainly true that the motivations of Trump voters remain diverse, the primary motivating factor is as plain as day: millions of Americans are conservative, and they in fact voted for a president that has enacted conservative policies. This isn’t rocket science.

Two recent articles in The Atlantic particularly highlight how myopic, and even dangerously prone to vilification (as will be discussed later) so many mainstream media writers remain. In an otherwise insightful analysis of the state of our country, George Packer refers to Trump rallies as “red-drenched festivals of mass hate.” Hmmm. It seems that Mr. Packer has himself fallen prey to becoming, in his own words, an “influential journalist” who “continue[s] to fail to understand how most of their compatriots think, even as these experts spend ever more of their time talking with one another on Twitter and in TV studios.”

Does Mr. Packer really think that those thousands of people who attend Trump rallies are full of “hate”? Or could it be that they simply appreciate Trump for his public policy accomplishments that have helped keep blue collar jobs in America and unemployment low by deregulating the economy, supported the family and religious liberty, respected the value of the unborn, etc.?

Then there is “A Large Portion of the Electorate Chose the Sociopath” by Tom Nichols. Over and over again, without citing any actual proof, Mr. Nichols and many others on the Left continue to carry on the narrative that a massive swath of Trump voters are driven primarily by racism. Mr. Nichols makes this stunningly nauseating assertion: “The politics of cultural resentment, the obsessions of white anxiety, are so intense that his voters are determined not only to preserve minority rule but to leave a dangerous sociopath in the Oval Office.”

Is it possible that intelligent intellectuals like Mr. Nichols, who holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown, actually believe in their heart of hearts, that racism, not policy, is what is driving Trump voters? Again, without citing any actual evidence, he asserts that “far too many of Trump’s voters don’t care about policy.” Once more, Mr. Nichols has apparently not bothered to notice the policies that President Trump has put in place, policies that reflect the goals of the Republican Party platform on protecting the unborn, preserving religious liberty, advocating for school choice, promoting free enterprise and job growth through deregulation, appointing originalist judges, etc.

Millions of American voters also saw through the false façade that Biden is somehow a “political centrist,” as Mr. Nichols described him. How does a “centrist” run on “the most progressive platform of any Democratic nominee in the modern history of the party”? That’s a quote from a Democratic operative in The Atlanticthe very publication that Mr. Nichols is writing for. How does a centrist have a vice presidential nominee that is, according to the left-leaning Newsweekmore liberal than Bernie Sanders, and who openly advocates for public policy that enforces equality of outcome?

But beyond the patent dishonesty of this kind of writing, something much more dangerous is occurring here. The Atlantic is continuing to publish opinion pieces that grossly and disturbingly mischaracterize and demean the motivations behind Trump voters, which will only further demonize conservatives in the minds of liberals, further contributing to the breakdown in mutual respect and assumption of good faith that is critical for a functioning democracy.

Having said that, all of us, whether conservative or liberal, have a lot of work to do in order to assume that most of our fellow compatriots hold their political views in good faith—because they honestly think they are what is best for our country.

The mainstream media, though, which has so much power to shape prevailing patterns of thought, has a particularly important responsibility to do better in this area. If George Packer, Tom Nichols, and the vast majority of their mainstream media colleagues did some actual research into the true motivations of most Trump voters, they just might discover that they are actually pretty ordinary: decent, hardworking people who simply want to preserve America as a free republic.

NBC Chief Medical Advisor Sees Abortion as Science and a Means of Preventing Disease

by Family Research Council

June 27, 2012

On Friday, June, 8, NBCs Today show ran a panel interview on the topic of prenatal testing and abortion. The primary interviewee was NBCs Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman.

Sadly, during the clip Dr. Snyderman advocated for aborting babies that receive a poor prenatal diagnosis. When questioned by host Savannah Guthrie about the ethics behind such a decision, Dr. Snyderman shockingly responded that such use of abortion can be a means of disease prevention.

Dr. Silvermans eugenics approach —- eliminating certain populations of people because they have a disease or disability —- is not unlike a social experiment that Demark has undertaken. The country is currently seeking to abort all babies with Down Syndrome, aiming to eradicate the disease.

Im not entirely sure how professionals such as Dr. Silverman or the government of Denmark make peace with the reality that they are eradicating entire populations of people, not diseases. Any elementary school science student can easily decipher the difference between a disease and a person.

Persons have dignity, not because of what they accomplish or how well they cognate, but simply because they are persons. Prenatal testing must be used in a way that respects the dignity inherent to each individual. In the same way that science is at the service of the human person, prenatal testing is good only insomuch as it leads to a path of treatment and support respectful of the mother and infant patients it seeks to serve.

Family Research Council has co-hosted a few events over the past year in an effort to educate and inform on this most critical topic. The first event was an afternoon lecture, which included phenomenal scientific research on the intellectual treatment for Down Syndrome (wouldnt it be wonderful if ABC reported on this great news?). The second event included a day-long conference geared towards medical professionals on treatment and support available after receiving a poor prenatal diagnosis.

Facebook Inc. valued above McDonalds Corp.: What does that mean for your kid?

by Family Research Council

May 15, 2012

Whether we like it or not, kids are now spending far more time with media and technology than they are with their families or in school — as much as eight hours a day on average in the United States alone. So wrote Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, a San Francisco think-tank focusing on media and families.

Facebook Inc is now worth more than Citigroup Inc. and McDonald’s Corp. But even when parents keep their kids off of the social networking site, numerous other apps and social media start-ups are vying for their use. The Wall Street Journal reported that 20 companies pitched online and mobile products for kids in Pasadena, Calif., at the 6th annual Digital Kids Conference, just last month.

The technological landscape is ever-changing and one mother-daughter team has an eye on the challenges of parenting in this brave, new world.

Concerned by the brevity of contemporary childhood and the crisis of premature sexualization brought on through “sexting” and related activities, Dr. Brenda Hunter and her daughter Kristen Blair have tackled these themes in a new book titled, From Santa to Sexting: Helping your Child Safely Navigate Middle School and Shape the Choices that Last a Lifetime.

Join us at noon on Friday, May 18th as Dr. Brenda Hunter and her daughter Kristen offer research, stories, and resources to help keep kids safe and strong in middle school.

RSVP today!

Think Again: Evangelicals in American Public Life

by Family Research Council

April 3, 2012

USA Today recently published an important opinion piece from Tom Krattenmaker called “Evangelicals seek positive change.” (The title does make one wonder what kind of change we’ve been seeking up until now, but I digress.) The article is important, I believe, not for its times are a changin conclusions, but for its presuppositions about the intersection of evangelicalism and politics.

The crux of the article consists of excerpts from an exchange Krattenmaker had with blogger and author Jonathan Merritt, one of the key expositors of “a new kind of thinking” as Krattenmaker describes it. Quoting Merritt:

Americans are tired of the incivility and the partisan divisiveness on both sides. Regardless of how much longer the culture wars are going to continue, Christians need to transcend the polemical, partisan, power-hungry battles that stymie the common good. If my intuition is wrong and the culture wars continue to rage on, my hope and prayer is that Christians will take a higher road as they seek to be faithful in the public square.”

Christians cannot join the ranks of the politically apathetic. But we aren’t forced to choose a human-formed party with a systemized divide-and-conquer agenda, either. We can stand in the gap and claim loyalty only to Jesus.”

First of all, there’s much to like in Merritt’s thinking. Christians must not be uncivil in private or public life, nor should our politics be strictly partisan. We cannot be politically apathetic and our loyalty is first to Christ. Amen and amen.

On Merritts power hungry battles, Id simply add the distinction that conservatives are not seeking to wrest power from one party and transfer it to another. Rather, youll most often find us trying to wrest power from the federal government and return it to the proper subsidiaries: the family, the church, the people, etc.

Gods Work in Americas Public Life

The context of the piece is about how a new generation of evangelicals are unshackling themselves from partisanship generally and the GOP specifically. Krattenmakers sights are trained on the “religious right” when he describes Merritts thinking as indicative of a challenge mounted against the notion that electoral politics is the way to do God’s work in American public life.” [Empahsis mine]

This is key. Krattenmaker (and Merritt?) presupposes that evangelicals who are politically conservative see politics as the way to do Gods work in Americans public life. Having worked for an organization that deals with evangelicals in public policy for nearly six years, I cant name one of my 75 colleagues who believes this.

Most of us who labor at organizations like FRC do so because weve been called vocationally into the realm of public policy. And for better or worse, the values derived from our faith have political fallout. (Thanks Andrew Walker for that gem.)

I and most of my colleagues are family focused and see raising our children as our most important contribution to American public life. And in addition to our day jobs at FRC, many of us are involved in ministries in our local communities that serve the church and the common good. This would include everything from building orphanages in Latin America, to mentoring at-risk students, to distributing food to the needy.

New Thinking vs Old Thinking

In order for a “new kind of thinking” on evangelical political engagement to emerge, the writers must presuppose that a pervasive “old kind of thinking” on evangelical political engagement exists. Well, does it?

Krattenmaker seems to think so:

Seeing many of Christianity’s most ardent and visible followers caught up in the mean-spirited, truth-demolishing aspects of this is one of the more discomforting features of today’s politics.

And yet, as David French has pointed out, you needn’t look farther than the cumulative budgets of evangelical poverty and disaster relief organizations (well over $2 billion) as compared to the budgets of “culture war” organizations (less than $200 million) to dispel the myth that evangelicals are only, or even primarily, fixated on the political as the way to do God’s work in America’s public life.

Over at Mere Orthodoxy, Andrew Walker cuts to the chase:

I would like to know with some degree of specificity who it is that serves as Mr. Merritts foil in the culture war. What pastors are advocating Republican politics? What churches are adopting policies and positions that mirror the Republican Party or the Heritage Foundation?

The questions remain outstanding.

Excess is the Exception, Not the Rule

If the new kind of thinking Krattenmaker and Merritt are describing really means that evangelicals should not be beholden to any particular political party—then we say, hear, hear. FRC president Tony Perkins has reiterated his conviction time and again that Christians should vote their values and not the party line.

Certainly there have been excesses on the right where evangelicals have taken a stand in the public square. Theres the inopportune rhetoric, the occasional majoring on the minors, and our tendency to be outraged at instead of brokenhearted with our culture generally. There is no effort without failure. If my own life is representative of the whole, then there is near constant need to own up to mistakes and make them right wherever we can.

But as Walker contends, these excesses are the exception rather than the rule, and they are certainly no more endemic to conservatism than to liberalism. So on this score, let’s proceed with sober judgment and caution:

Luther surely spoke very good sense when he compared humanity to a drunkard who, after falling off his horse on the right, falls off it next time on the left. C.S. Lewis, from The Worlds Last Night.

A Consistent, Redeeming Presence

In the end, I think what Merritt and other emerging voices are rejecting is a stereotype that no longer existsif in fact it ever did. And I share every bit in Merritts discomfort with it.

Ill wholeheartedly affirm with Merritt and Krattenmaker the idea that Christians have one foot in God’s kingdom and one in the world. Ours is a dual citizenship. But it is an entire foot in each. Not simply a toenail in the latter. Yes, Christians must not trust in princes. But neither should we flee the field.

We are after something deeper than partisanship to be sure; it is a consistent, redeeming presence in American public life. We seek to be the little yeast working through the dough, causing the whole batch to rise.

Washington Posts Ombudsman Goes Populist

by Robert Morrison

August 25, 2011

I read in a recent issue of the Washington Post that the newspapers future is being firmly staked on going populist. (I scan the Post, dear reader, so you dont have to.) The column ran on the editorial page of the capitals hometown paper, so it must be important. The writer was Patrick Pexton. Ive never heard of this estimable fellow before, but Mr. Pexton is identified as the Ombudsman for the Post.

Now, an Ombudsman is someone hired by a newspaper to keep it fair, balanced, and not easily swayed. Ombudsman is a Swedish word, imported into our country by those dear Social Democrats who flock to book-signings by Garrison Keillor and who like to think of themselves as populists, not liberals. They think that taxing the people to keep NPR on the air is just another example of good government. Ombudsmen are people who cheer when they see you putting out your re-cycling bin. Shoveling public monies for their pet projects is something they regard as populist, a shovel-ready project if ever there was one.

I was intrigued by the idea of the Washington Post going populist. Does that mean that former Post editor Ben Bradlee will hold his 91st birthday party in, say, Williamsburg or Annapolis, instead of where he held his 90thin the plus chic Ile de Re, off Frances Atlantic coast? (What, Ben, has Marthas Vineyard become passe?)

Mr. Pexton assures us that the Post cant be a liberal or a conservative [newspaper]. It must be hard-hitting and scrappy and questioningskeptical of all political figures and parties.

Uh, the Post is not a liberal newspaper? You may have heard of this weeks earthquake in Washington. Nature herself must have hiccupped at the bald assertion that the Post is not a liberal paper. Is the Leaning Tower of Pisa leaning left or right? Well, it depends on where you stand. But everyone knows it leans.

Heres a little readers test of the Washington Posts self-proclaimed populism. Which of the following groups gets called in the Post what it calls itself: The Peoples Republic of China, the old Soviet Union, al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Marriage Equality, or the Pro-Life Movement?

The Posts Ombudsman may want to be populist, but not that populist. National Public Radio (NPR) caught a lot of flak from its liberal listeners when it dared to use the term pro-life.

NPR has an Ombudsman, too, a gentleman named Edward Schumacher-Matos. Last year, Mr. Schumacher-Matos wrote:

I checked with NBC, CBS, CNN, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer and not one of them uses the terms “pro-choice” or “pro-life.”

We call them pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion rights because it’s the right to abortion that we’re talking about,” said Linda Mason, CBS senior vice president of news and in charge of standards. “What does pro-life mean? That leaves people scratching their heads.”

In their world, abortion is of course a right. And we should be taxed to pay for it, as we are under ObamaCare. So CBSs Linda Mason wouldnt dream of calling us pro-lifers we call ourselves. For them, abortion is not just a right; its a rite.

One of the reasons so many groups known to us simplistic types as terrorists get called, with all due respect, by the name they call themselves, is that they have a record of kidnapping journalists they dont like. They murdered the Wall Street Journals Danny Pearl and held FOX News Steve Centanni hostage until he agreed to renounce his Christian faith on camera.

Non-violent pro-lifers simply march on Washington every January 22nd We pray and sing and call for laws to protect innocent human life. Hundreds of thousands of us have come for thirty-eight years to petition for the redress of this grievous grievance.

Still the liberal media scratch their heads. Violence is not an option for pro-lifers. But registering, voting, and speaking out are options for us. Sometimes, we even get to laugh. Like when we read that the Washington Post is not liberal, but populist.

Exactly What NOT To Do

by Robert Morrison

August 3, 2011

Once again, theMSMmainstream mediais giving us an anniversary better left unnoted. This time, theyre telling us that on this day 45 years ago, a lone shooter climbed up into the Tower at the University of Texas in Austin and began randomly shooting at students and visitors to that beautiful campus.

This is exactly what our friends in theMSMshould not do. They should know this by now. Do we want more mass murders, like the recent bloody episode inNorway? Then go ahead and put the killers pictures on the covers of news magazines, publicize their names and their bloody deeds, show photos of their victims, provide timelines, print graphics of their bullets trajectories, and always, always show the grieving family members of their victims.

But if we want to stop this madness, we should listen to researchers who have studied suicide and mass killings. They know that contagion and suggestibility play a real role in sparking these events. They know, for instance, that when a single car accident claims the life of a famous movie actor or singer, there is a measurable increase in copy cat deaths that may well be hidden suicides.

No small part of the Hollywoodappeal of certain rebels without a cause is due to their premature deaths in circumstances that strongly suggest self-murder. In Europe, the author of Lhomme revolte—The Rebelwas widely believed to have done himself in.

Mass killers and suicides are closely aligned with assassins in their mindset. Serious studies of President Kennedys killer show him to have been a loser, a nobody, a Communist-inspired misfit who first tried to kill a right-wing army general. Only when he missed that shot did he reach for a perverse kind stardom by killing the hope that John F. Kennedy represented for millions.

John Wilkes Booth was different. He was no loser, and certainly not a nobody. He was as famous an actor in 1865Americaas Brad Pitt is today. But he wanted to live out the fantastic characters he portrayed on stage. After shooting the president at Fords Theater that dark and gloomy Good Friday night, he fled the scene. He tried to reachVirginia, a state still in rebellion. He expected a heros welcome there.

Booth had broken his leg jumping down from the presidential box. He had galloped out ofWashingtonjust ahead of War Sec. Edwin Stantons order to close all the bridges. Hiding out in the thick woods ofSouthern Maryland, Booth and his accomplice were cold, hungry, dirty. Still in intense pain, Booth begged for just one thing: newspapers.

Like the American idol he was, he hungered to see his name in the papers, to see how people were applauding his desperate act. Imagine his chagrin when he learned that even in Confederate Virginia, he was denounced as an ignoble coward, a vicious villain.

Bill Bennett, host of the Morning in America talk show, challenged NBC News several years ago. The suits at NBC decided to air the video made by the Virginia Tech shooter.

But we might have learned something from that video, the networks news editors protested. After they went ahead, broadcasting that video rant, Bennett asked if we were in any doubt the killer was mad at the world, and had paranoid delusions of persecution before subjecting the country, and especially the victims families, to that deranged mans harangue.

Bill Bennett is right. Lets not give them what they want. Ever.

Tony Perkins on your small screen…

by FRC Media Office

May 28, 2011

…or flat-screen, or big screen —- whichever size screen your television happens to be! After spending the week with over 500 pastors for FRC’s Watchmen on the Wall conference in D.C., appearances on Fox News and Fox Business, Tony has a busy upcoming Memorial Day week — here are some upcoming TV appearances:

Life Today with James Robison

Find station listings here:

Monday, May 30

Tony Perkins

Freedom and Religion

The president of the Family Research Council lays out remedies for our spiritual and a moral crisis.

Thursday, June 2

Tony Perkins & Jacob Aranza

Gods Kingdom in You

The president of the Family Research Council and a longtime church pastor encourage believers to be involved in every sphere of life.

Watch Tony’s May 26 Fox News segment below:

On the Unborn, the Media, and the Conscience

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 5, 2011

There are some things in life you just cant avoid. Death and taxes come to mind, of course, and the seeming inevitability of the Cubs ultimate collapse.

There are others. One of them is the inescapable reality that abortion involves not a collation of tissue but the destruction of a person, a human being.

This is not just a theological assertion or philosophical rumination: We know from medical science that from conception, the unborn child has the entire DNA of a fully mature adult. What changes at time of birth is not the humanness of the child but his or her place of residence: For nine months, the womb was home; for the remainder of a persons life, it is the world around us.

Even the mass media cannot help itself. In ordinary stories, the personhood of the child pops up in the simple reportage of stories of the day. However much the pro-abortion movement has sought to shape the language of popular culture and public education, the fact that the little ones in the womb are, in fact, people, keeps intruding itself into public discourse. For example (bold and italics are mine):

  • On Monday of this week, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul noted that a grand jury has returned an indictment charging a Buffalo man with three counts of vehicular homicide after a multi-vehicle crash in Lakeville killing two people and an unborn child.
  • On April 28, the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser had this headline: Family grieves loss of woman, her unborn child.
  • In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the CBS affiliate told us late last month that a Kentucky state investigator testified Tuesday that Kathy Michelle Coy, the woman accused of killing a pregnant mother and stealing her baby.
  • Yesterday, the Today Show news site reported, Mom recounts saving unborn child from shooting spree.
  • Also yesterday, the Chicago Tribune, one of the nations largest papers, informed us that Cook County Judge James Linn sentenced James Larry, 33, of Madison, Wis., to five natural life sentences on murder charges, two 30-year prison sentences for attempted murder charges and two 45-year prison sentences for charges of intentional homicide of an unborn child.

These are only a few examples from just the past couple of weeks.

Seminary president Al Mohler has observed that while The American conscience remains deeply divided over the question of abortion … the truth has a way of working itself into view.

That view is clearly seen in every ultrasound, but is also known to the law written on the heart described by the Apostle Paul (Romans 2:15). We can euphemize our language, speaking only of fetus and choice. We can deflect the demands of intellectual honesty when confronted by medical fact and common reason. But in the depth of our hearts and minds, we know better. We know.

Will Obama Bail Out Gray Ladies of the Press?

by Robert Morrison

September 24, 2009

I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.

Those were President Obamas words in an interview with editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade. The President was explaining his openness to a federal bailout of struggling big-city daily newspapers. For that reason, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) have introduced S. 673, their so-called Newspaper Revitalization Act.

These two very liberal senators should have acted even sooner. They should have sponsored the Manual Typewriter Preservation Act. You see, the computer revolution put great pressure on Royal, Underwood, and Olivetti. Those companies represented thousands of jobs. We cant just let the free market run rampant. Save typewriter ribbons! Save white-out! Save carbon paper! Theres no telling how much damage these new-fangled computers might do.

The President is concerned that the Internet will not provide the kind of fact-checking and balance that was once provided for us by, say, the New York Times. Remember Jason Blair? In firing the 27-year old reporter, the Gray Lady had to confess: [He] committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud while covering significant news events in recent months, an investigation by Times journalists has found. The widespread fabrication and plagiarism represent a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.

Or what about the care taken by Dan Rather of CBS News? Shall we recall Rathers careful fact-checking in 2004 of the letters purportedly written by 1/Lt. George W. Bushs commanding officer in 1972 and 1973? Those letters, it was quickly revealed, were typed in a Microsoft Word computer typeface. This was most interesting, since Word hadnt even been invented in 1973.

It was the blogosphere that provided the fact-checking that exposed Dan Rathers trafficking in clearly demonstrated forgeries. It was intrepid bloggers who put a stop to Dan Rathers long-running career in gonzo journalism.

Dan Rather was typical of the liberal journalists who reigned unchallenged on the airwaves for decades until Ronald Reagans FCC appointees in 1987 abolished the so-called Fairness Doctrine. Id prefer to call it the Furnace Doctrine, since thats where it consigned our First Amendment guarantees of free speech and free press. After that, radio talkers rose up to challenge the liberal medias monopoly. The Internet quickly followed. Then, along came FOX.

Obviously, President Obama would prefer town hall meetings where 9-year olds read scripted questions. Real town hall meetings do sometimes get rowdy. So do tea parties.

And so does a truly free press.

If someone today alleges that some of the 53 government bureaucracies to be established by ObamaCare are death panels, there are many voices prepared to debate that, voices left and right. Isnt this vigorous debate preferable for a free people to federal government bailouts? These newspapers are declining because their readers have either fled their decaying cities or have opted instead for Internet sites and talk radio.

Presidents have historically been unhappy with negative coverage in the press. President George Washington was enraged by that rascal Freneau, a caustic anti-Washington propagandist who was secretly on the payroll of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. John Adams actually had opposition editors imprisoned under the Alien & Sedition Acts. Lincoln closed down a number of newspapers he charged were inciting rebellion. In modern times, JFK famously threw across the Oval Office a crumpled up editorial page of the Herald Tribune.

But none of these Presidents past actually tried to bail out failing newspapers. They had too much respect for a free press, free markets and the free exchange of ideas, and for the American people, whose resources should not be employed by the federal government to prop-up industries that, due to innovation and creativity of our fellow citizens, are less and less needed as means of communication.

We dont need another industry bailout. If we bail out failing newspapers, whats next, a government bailout of MSNBC? This bailout would result inevitably in a government-controlled press. We dont need President Obama to issue us our mutual understandings.

You may have noticed: I wrote this without capital letters and without exclamation points. See? No shouting at all.