Lies My Media Told Me

Once upon a time in a land far, far away lived a little black girl who used to believe everything newspapers and news programs told her. But then one day, that little girl matured into a woman with an attention span long enough to discern truth from error and hard news from tabloid fodder.

News ain’t what it used to be, let alone what it is supposed to be. But as a Christian who will have to wade through the fluff to get truth so that I can pick a president with more integrity than a drunken termite, I need to be able to trust the press. I used to a long time ago. But the last few years alone have drastically altered my view of the media in all its vainglory.

Here is just a sampling of the lies my media has told over the last few years that have me looking to the Weekly World News for truth:

§ The Mark Foley Story. FOX is supposed to be the “no-spin” zone when it comes to important political and social issues. So you can only imagine my surprise when it was revealed that FOX sat on the story of Foley’s predilection for younger male pages. One wonders if the FOX wall of silence would have fallen had Foley been a Democrat. Oops! I thought I imagined a story that FOX had actually gone to the trouble of remaking Foley into a Democrat. I didn’t even intend to post this part until I found this screenshot on a blog I’ve never been to. Ridiculous. Absolutely unequivocally ridiculous.

§ The Jesus Nonsense. The liberal media suffers much from the same myopia conservatives do, only with a different eye. I can always count on CNN or ABC to spam my television with specials about how Jesus wasn’t really God in the flesh but rather a Jewish baby daddy. Believe what you will about him but all I ask is that these networks stop recruiting only theologically liberal, near-agnostic “Christian” scholars who parrot their doubts about Jesus. The Discovery Channel has also caught the bug, hoping to hypnotize a biblically illiterate American public into believing that Jesus’ bones are in a box he would not have been able to afford. The left is as religious in their anti-theism as the right is in their misuse of the Almighty for political gain.

§ Trial of the Century-itis. Just when you thought the media coverage of celebrity trials could not get any sleazier, along came the Michael Jackson debacle. You can whine and cry about how you believe that Jackson bleached his skin or had too much plastic surgery. But what you cannot do is to deny him basic constitutional rights to a fair trial. What he received via the “news” was a first-rate, three-for-one media lynching where the truth as they saw it was all that mattered. I remember watching networks like Court TV, FOX, ABC, heck the whole bandwagon of them, create story after story foretelling of Jackson’s sure doom and conviction. The one thing they all forgot to do, however, was check their sources. Most of the nonsense reported by the likes of Dan Abrams and Diane Dimond was biased against Jackson. Yet none of what they reported was rooted in legal or evidentiary fact. The trial transcripts showed that much. Even worse, you had journalists trying to be a part of the story. Is that the role of a fair and balanced journalist? The fact that so many people were amazed that Jackson was acquitted reflects how much of a snow job the American press pulled on an illiterate and lazy American constituency.

§ The Plame Game. The Valerie Plame Wilson affair is too sordid for words. Plame was a CIA covert officer doing intelligence work on behalf of our government. But when her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, criticized the Bush administration for its handling of the Iraq issue, her name was mysteriously leaked publicly. Last week, Plame testified that her career and all the hard work she and her compatriots had done went down the tubes thanks to a reckless few. Equally sickening is the role some members of the media played in this treasonous act (yeah, it’s treason—at least according to my man George H. W. Bush, Sr.!). Bob Novak[1] and Judith Miller of the New York Times did a great job of covering up for certain White House officials who exposed a CIA operative. Instead of investigating the story, most of the press has worked overtime to cover their collective behinds. Even during the hearing, that fair and balance bastion of neoconservative-leaning news FOX spent more time trying to discredit Plame than actually listen to a word she said. More pathetic is the half-hearted stabs at “fairness” that other networks took, asking questions hardly germane to the issues at large. One of the interesting tidbits that emerged from the Scooter Libby trial was how the Bush administration created talking points to a lazy American press to defame Joe Wilson.[2] Gratefully, there were a few journalists out there who had the knobs to do their job no matter what. Props to those men and women.

And you wonder why I’m so cynical about the media? Yet, sadly what other options do we have other than to continue to challenge the press to be fair and give equal time to various sides of an issue?

There is hope, I suppose, even for the American press. I could always watch the Colbert Report.


[1] Mysteriously, the original link to Bob Novak’s original story has been removed.

[2] I encourage readers to peruse the documents themselves. There is plenty to sink one’s teeth into.


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