Contributor: Karen Gushta
Is today’s media “objective”? The majority of Americans don’t think so. According to the Pew Research Center, 67 percent perceive bias in the media, despite the claim by most journalists that they are giving us “just the facts, Ma’am.”
Some, however, are willing to admit they give the news a liberal slant.
According to the Media Research Center, when Politico’s Jim VandeHei was asked whether reporters are biased, he responded, “There is no doubt about that—I’ve worked at the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and worked here at Politico. If I had to guess, if you put all the reporters that I’ve ever worked with on truth serum, most of them vote Democratic.”
This recognized bias doesn’t just extend to reporters’ political views. Many, if not the majority of journalists, are not people of faith, much less conservative Christians. And their biases show, according to former New York Times reporter Steve Roberts.
Roberts, who is now a professor of journalism, said on CNN, “I worked for the New York Times for 25 years. I could probably count on one hand, in the Washington bureau of the New York Times, people who would describe themselves as people of faith…. I think one of the real built-in biases in the media is towards secularism…. You want diversity in the newsroom, not because of some quota, but because you have to have diversity to cover the story well and cover all aspects of a society. And you don’t have religious people making the decisions about where coverage is focused. And I think that’s one of the faults.”
This bias towards the left and secularism is blatantly evident in the recent coverage of the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado, allegedly by 24 year-old Jim Holmes, who had recently dropped out of the University of Colorado’s prestigious neuroscience program.
As Brent Bozell III reported in his article, “Another Tea Party Terrorist Smear,” six hours after the midnight massacre in a crowded theater, “early in the second hour of ‘Good Morning America’ in New York, ABC host George Stephanopoulos announced that investigative reporter Brian Ross had ‘found something that might be significant.’”
What was that “significant” information? “Ross declared that a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, had joined the Tea Party, but ‘we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes.’”
Admitting he didn’t have the facts, the ABC report reporter, nevertheless, went on to speculate that a 52 year-old Tea Party member might somehow be connected to the shooting. And in spite of this slanderous speculation, “After unloading that smear on Jim Holmes of the Tea Party,” says Bozell, “neither Stephanopoulos nor Brian Ross ever made an apology and correction on the air of ABC News. They put out a short apology online, but let the smear stand on air. The smeared Mr. Holmes also told the Daily Caller he received no attempt to contact him or apologize.”
The lesson here is—if you are ever a victim of their all too common distortion of the facts, don’t expect the left-leaning press to give you a public apology for besmirching your good name.
This was the lesson that Dr. Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries also learned in the context of the Aurora incident. After he published his article, “A Dark Night Indeed: Another Senseless Act of Violence,” and gave a radio interview to American Family Radio, The Huffington Post published an article that twisted his remarks concerning the Aurora tragedy, resulting in thousands of comments on their website that condemned Newcombe for what he had presumably said.
When alerted to the story, Newcombe immediately attempted to contact The Huffington Post. They refused to take down their story or run a correction; and when they did post his statement 8 hours later, it was buried among all the comments of those who accepted the Post’s account at face value. Two days later, Jerry issued a more fully developed statement to the press in general, which is posted on this website, along with his earlier column, at “A Dark Night Indeed.”
Ironically, the owner of the media syndication company that gave the founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, her start as a syndicated columnist in the 1990s, just happens to be Jerry Newcombe’s brother, Rick Newcombe. He came to the defense of his brother, writing about The Huffington Post’s attack at WND and other outlets.
“The Huffington Post essentially connected dots that Jerry did not and would not connect,” wrote Rick Newcombe. “Why let the facts get in the way of a good story? More than 7,000 readers made comments, mostly condemning Jerry, kicking The Huffington Post’s straw man over and over. As Jerry said, ‘I too would have kicked the person who wrote what they claim I wrote about the victims!’”
In 2011 the Media Research Center published a special report on The Huffington Post, identifying what the report referred to as its “ongoing campaign of profanity, crude sexual and excretory metaphors and outright hate speech against conservatives….”
The Post’s campaign also extends to Christians. During the Easter season, one post portrayed Christ as gay. In her article, “Queer Christ Arises to Liberate and Heal,” Kittredge Cherry depicted Jesus on the cross with the word “faggot” etched on the sign above his head.
In July, another writer demeaned Christ and attacked Chick-fil-A in the same breath in an article titled “Did Jesus Eat Chick-fil-A at the Last Supper?” The author criticized the restaurant chain because Dan Cathy, stated that his “restaurant is based on biblical principles.”
In view of his recent experience, Jerry Newcombe says he’s come to a greater appreciation of Jesus words in Matthew 5:11, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake” [emphasis added].
And, as he writes in his most recent column, “In the Arena,” “Nothing worthwhile seems to come easy. Now is not the time to quit. Now is the time to press on, speaking the truth in love, even if some falsely smear you.”