Thursday, December 11, 2008

Media Bias? What media bias?!

I mentioned a couple of days ago, without being overly subtle, a hit-piece in Newsweek magazine chastising Christians for actually believing in that book they carry around when it comes to gay marriage. When it comes to caring for the poor, absolutely read the Bible! When it comes to sin, you need to look first to the prevailing winds of the culture!

The cover story is hardly unexpected, but behind the scenes is a more subtle sign of the extent to which the mainstream media attacks the Christian faith. Along with the piece by Lisa Miller is an editorial salvo from Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek:

On the campus of Wheaton College in Illinois last Wednesday, in another of the seemingly endless announcements of splintering and schism in the Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan and other leaders of the conservative forces of reaction to the ecclesiastical and cultural acceptance of homosexuality declared that their opposition to the ordination and the marriage of gays was irrevocably rooted in the Bible—which they regard as the "final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life."

No matter what one thinks about gay rights—for, against or somewhere in between —this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism. Given the history of the making of the Scriptures and the millennia of critical attention scholars and others have given to the stories and injunctions that come to us in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament, to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt—it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition.

Apparently being the editor of a "news" magazine with a rapidly declining readership qualifies Mr. Meacham to pass judgment on what is or is not orthodox, historical Christianity. Mr. Meacham uses much of the same mockery and misrepresentations that Ms. Miller used:

This is a sweeping and open declaration of Newsweek Magazines opposition to Biblical Christianity. Mark Hemingway of National Review makes the following succinct observation:

Of course, religious Americans are more than used to shoddy coverage of theological debates. So what else is new? Criticism that a Newsweek cover story serves a left-of-center political worldview is almost, well, a weekly occurrence.

What is remarkable about this week’s cover story was how Newsweek’s editor, Jon Meacham, has handled the backlash. He hasn’t defended the piece as a matter of opinion or part of a public debate. Rather, Newsweek has apparently come out of the closet as an explicitly ideological magazine editorially endorsing the article’s viewpoint.

Quite true. We are rapidly seeing the sheep's clothing being taken off by the increasingly bold wolves. We saw it in the unapologetic openness of the mainstream media's effusive support for Barack Obama, casting aside any pretense of neutrality. We saw, and are seeing it, in the media's ongoing overwhelming negative coverage of President Bush. We saw it in the media's initial coverage of the passage of Proposition 8. We see it now in this editorial note from Newsweek, perhaps the most bold declaration yet that the media is no longer even pretending to be neutral.

We should not be surprised by this blatant ideological bias on the part of Newsweek and other bastions of the old school mainstream media. In fact, as Christians we should welcome it. For too long these secular left institutions have been hiding behind journalistic integrity to claim to be unbiased. Now that they are increasingly "out of the closet" it should be easier to identify what they espouse as the ideological rhetoric it is, instead of assuming it to be actual news. I just hope that more people in the church will see these organizations for what they are: prophets and evangelists for the secular humanist left.

1 comment:

Like a Mustard Seed said...

Hey Arthur, came across you at Alan Knox's blog (I think), and just read through your testimony out of mormonism, really amazing... Not too long ago I read a book called 'Mormonism, Mama, and Me', and it really helped me understand so many of the 'cultic' properties employed by Mormonism. I knew many Mormons growing up, and never felt like I knew enough about what really goes on inside the Mormon Church to really talk to them. Anyways, I'm just praising God that He saved you from the lie that we can achieve Godhood... What an incredible story of His love and grace.... - Daniel