By George Noga
Nonexistent Guns, Nonexistent Defeat and Nonexistent Scandal
Media Watch is one of our regular features. Only this time I explain why and how media bias occurs. This is followed by the three most egregious examples of media bias that MLLG has reported since we began in 2007. As a bonus, I throw in a current example of extreme media bias dealing with gas prices.
If you are like most, you assume when news happens, the editor or producer impartially assigns the story to a reporter who (hopefully) has some knowledge of the subject matter. The reporter objectively covers the story and reports the facts. The editor, also objectively, questions the reporter, fact checks and edits. The end result, even if flawed, represents a good faith attempt to report the news.
“Media organizations have, inter alia, black, Latino, gay and women’s caucuses that solely determine how any issue affecting their caucus is reported.”
That’s not how it happens. Every substantial media organization has internal groups they call caucuses, i.e. employees who band together to determine how anything affecting their caucus is reported. Caucuses always exist for blacks, Latinos, gays and women; there may be others. Most other issues such as those involving the military, environment, guns, poverty, corporations and religion don’t require caucuses as all reporters have been in lockstep about them since at least journalism school. Should they forget the correct slant, that’s where editors come in.
Let’s follow a typical news story involving say abortion. The editor/producer will try to assign the story to a reporter from the women’s caucus. The reporter will write the story using only criteria and terminology approved by her caucus. If perchance the story was assigned to a reporter not part of the women’s caucus, that reporter would not submit the story to the editor without first running it by the women’s caucus. If the story was significant and involved something not previously discussed by the caucus, the reporter and/or editor would not print it without first checking with the members of the affected caucus. Nothing ever gets printed that disrespects a caucus. Now that you understand the process, let’s go to the media hall of shame.
Appalachian State: Nonexistent Guns
In 2002 an Appalachian State student went on a shooting spree killing 3 and wounding several; 208 newspapers reported the story, of which 204 reported the killer was stopped, pounced on, tackled or overpowered by other students. All the networks reported the story this way. When I read the story I wondered how students pounce on or tackle a gunmen. There’s one major problem: the students didn’t tackle or pounce on the armed killer. Two of the three students went to their cars and retrieved legal handguns which they used to subdue the killer.
The role guns played in stopping the killer was well known. Over 100 reporters interviewed the students and nearly every reporter knew the positive role handguns played in stopping the bloodshed. Yet, less than 2% of the newspapers mentioned the students’ handguns. This kind of reporting is de rigeur in Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran and North Korea. American media will not report stories with a positive role for guns although they happen 2,500,000 times a year in the US.
Walter Cronkite and Tet: Nonexistent American Defeat
Walter Cronkite was just another anile talking head until he endeared himself to progressives by his misreporting of the Tet Offensive – declaring Tet a great American defeat and the war irretrievably lost. That’s NOT the way it was. Tet was a desperation gamble by the enemy who suffered staggering losses – 60,000 of their best men. Both then and now the political and military leaders of North Vietnam declared Tet to be a total defeat and disaster for them. Tet was a massive American victory.
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read it, you are misinformed.” «TWAIN»
Tet was the biggest story of Cronkite’s career and he got it dead wrong. The media’s distrust of America transmogrified Cronkite into a media hero – make that saint. Cronkite achieved legendary status due to an act of gross journalistic malpractice. The crowning achievement of the media darling of my lifetime was not only wrong, it caused America great harm.
Pedophile Priests: Nonexistent Scandal
There never was a pedophile priest scandal; less than 3% of incidents were pedophilia. What really happened was a homosexual priest scandal. Pedophilia is rare; it involves children before puberty whose age usually is a single digit; moreover, pedophilia is mostly heterosexual. Of all the misreporting and bias in the past few decades, this story tops the charts.
As media began to report about the emerging scandal, the gay caucuses were mortified. Gay organizations are so sacrosanct, powerful and intimidating, no one opposes them. So the media protected the priests (and by extension gays) by concocting pedophilia, which is a bogeyman everyone opposes. The church gleefully went along because it knew pedophilia was a strawman and it couldn’t dare confront the church’s culture of homosexuality.
The lengths the media went to protect gays is legion. In the 8-page U.S. News & World Report story, homosexual was mentioned once. Instead, the magazine used sex-abuse scandal, predatory sexual behavior, youth-sex scandal and sexual misconduct; they tried to blame celibacy. All of this was misdirection. Over 95% of incidents involved boys; this rules out priests not being able to marry and celibacy as causes. But the problem runs even deeper. Gay men are attracted to the priesthood because it provides an unending supply of young, impressionable and vulnerable boys. Despite the horrific scandal, nothing much has changed; the band plays on.
Media Watch 2011 – Obama and High Gas Prices
It is instructive to contrast media reporting of gas prices during the Bush and Obama presidencies. Bush was hounded by the media for 8 years. At press conferences he was asked the following: “What do you say to people who are losing patience with gas prices at $3 a gallon? “How much of a political price are you paying for $3 gas?” “A majority of Americans disapprove of your handling of gas prices.” He and Cheney were lambasted for their former connections to the oil industry. At the end of Bush’s presidency gas prices (inflation-adjusted) were 9% lower than when he took office.
Since Obama took office gas prices have skyrocketed. Where are the media watchdogs? Virtually no questions have been asked Obama about: (1) the high price of gas and home heating; (2) Obama’s bungled response to the BP oil spill; (3) the moratorium on domestic oil exploration; (4) the lack of drilling permits in the gulf; and (5) the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the energy sector. The statist media is dead; it finally expired in 2008 after being comatose for many years. There are only a few places for truth these days, mainly talk radio, Fox News, Drudge and the Internet.