Commentary

The Dishonest Media - Part Three

It seems as though the media cannot help but repeatedly show their dishonesty. The latest example, of course, is the Dan Rather fiasco. Rather thought he had a story that would bring down a president; instead, he brought down not only himself but probably CBS as well. He will go down with the other perpetrators of media fraud. He was warned by some of his own people. How could he have been so stubborn and blind? One of his problems is he works and lives in that liberal cocoon which hates those on the right and those with religious convictions. This cocoon consists of others in CBS and those of his persuasion on other networks such as Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw. This bias in TV goes back almost to the beginning of the TV era. Political bias charges by conservatives and denials by big media have gone on for 40 years. After 20 years of these charges, two social scientists, Lichter and Rothman, did a study of 240 journalists which revealed that 44 percent placed themselves to the left of center compared to 19 percent who chose the right. Eighty to ninety percent voted as Democrats, and less than a handful even considered themselves religious. Since the Lichter-Rothman study other organizations over the years have shown an overwhelming preference by the journalist for liberal ideas and an anti-Christian bent.

Dan Rather may have been emboldened by events in the history of CBS. Back in 1971, CBS produced a “documentary” called The Selling of the Pentagon. They used some very dishonest editing to change the meaning of statements by two Pentagon officials. As an example, the interview with Marine Col. McNeil came from four different spots that were sequentially rearranged to make the Colonel look stupid, vicious, and inept. The same documentary showed an interview by Roger Mudd with the Assistant Secretary of Defense. The only problem was that responses by McNeil were from questions previously asked that had little relationship to the interview. This was another example of slice-and-dice editing of the truth by CBS. This incident prompted law suits filed against CBS by the victims. A number of congressmen were also greatly offended by this breach of trust by a television news network licensed and regulated by the FCC. A congressman actually attempted to issue a subpoena against CBS; unfortunately, he was unsuccessful, and CBS continued their biased reporting. This is probably what emboldens Rather and the other biased “newsmen.”

In another documentary in1982, The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception, CBS again accused General Westmoreland of knowingly understating the size of the Vietnam forces. An internal investigation of CBS uncovered many instances of unethical conduct similar to the “slice-and-dice” editing of The Selling of the Pentagon Documentary.

Times are changing. We now have more and different media. In this case the Internet “bloggers” were the ones who brought out the fact that documents presented by Dan Rather were forged. We are no longer dependent upon two TV channels networks, two newspapers and two news magazines serving the entire United States. Besides the Internet, we have C-Span, and FOX News trying to be fair and unbiased. We also have the low-power radio stations like The Defenders of the Faith’s WDTF-LP, broadcasting Relevant Radio. (Ed. Note: A liberal journalist for the Minneapolis Tribune wrote an article suggesting the plug be pulled on Relevant Radio as too many Catholics were no longer voting liberal.)

A friend of mine said that I should be Christian and forgive these perpetrators of this news scandal. Unfortunately, these people who have used forged documents to try to bring down the President of the U.S. and may be facing criminal charges, are still adamantly refusing even to admit they did anything but provide honest reporting. And, no wonder! Dan Rather once responded to a question from Bill O’Reilly on Fox News about Bill Clinton: “I think you can be an honest person and still lie about any number of things.” Rather still insists that even though the documents were forged, the story was true.

In another story relating to dishonest media, a memo released three months ago by the Vatican’s leading theologian, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, is being portrayed by the media as giving Catholic voters permission to vote for pro-abortion candidates for political office. Headlines blare out the misleading statements, “Catholic Voters Given Leeway on Abortion Rights Issue,” and “Catholics allowed Some Discretion on Abortion Rights.” This issue of The Defender contains several articles by leading high-ranking officials of the Catholic Church indicating this is a complete distortion of the memo. Actually, the media ignored the entire memo and concentrated on a postscript to it. In the memo, Ratzinger answers the question of whether a voter may receive communion if he votes for a pro-abortion politician and concludes that any vote for a pro-abortion politician is cooperation in evil. In the postscript he goes on to say that a person who votes for a pro-abortion politician may receive communion, but only if he voted that way for “proportionate” reasons. And this is the phrase the media uses to justify voting for almost any pro-abortion politician, claiming that “proportionate” reasons may be any serious issue the voter cares about; the war in Iraq, for instance.

Catholic theologians state the term “proportionate” has a very specific meaning within Catholic moral theology and “proportionate reasons” for voting for a pro-abortion candidate would have to be limited to stopping other intrinsically evil acts similar to abortion. Even a candidate’s support for capital punishment or war cannot be used to justify voting for a pro-abortion candidate because neither of these things are intrinsically immoral according to Catholic teaching. It is hard to imagine what such an evil could be. One theologian has suggested it would be comparable to the exterminating of all Jews in the U. S. or some other form of genocide. Ratzinger made it clear there is no proportionate reason even remotely close to the killing of unborn children.

Ignoring the logic of the Cardinal, the media finds a dissident Catholic priest such as Father Andrew Greeley or a dissident organization such as Catholics for a Free Choice to support their twisted rationale. Twisting words and taking comments out of context is nothing new to the media, and they have a whole stable of dissidents and heretics who will back them up every time.

Father Pavone, head of Priests for Life, states: “There is no act more brutal, or claiming more victims than abortion. It kills 4,000 children daily in the U. S. alone. Practitioners admit under oath they dismember and decapitate these babies. If people try to equate that with other issues by misquoting a Vatican Cardinal, they are guilty of the most shameless types of abuse of religion.” This is nothing new for the media!

Jim Fritz

 

 

 

 

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