"In houses and schools across the land, it's time for Christians to take a stand," said Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore August 13th, 2003


Ladies and gentlemen, it's a pleasure to be with you today. I spent almost 20 years of my life sitting in a newsroom. This gave me a bird's-eye-view of the media - in all of their glorious eccentricities - but especially the cultural affinities of the Fourth Estate.

Regarding the family and the media, the good news is this: The media is not intentionally anti-family. The bad new is that many journalists embrace a set of assumptions that would (if generally adopted) effectively abolish the family.

The media hold the following as articles of faith:
  • That individual autonomy is more important than community.

  • That the pursuit of happiness is the highest value.

  • That traditions should always be questioned - innovations, blindly accepted.

  • That the world is hopelessly overcrowded. Thus, contraception and abortion should be widely available and state-subsidized.

  • That all living arrangements are equal - including single parents, cohabiting couples and homosexual liaisons.

  • That gender roles are socially imposed and inherently oppressive.

  • That children are autonomous human beings, who are fully functioning at around the age of seven.

  • That religions which teach counter-cultural values -- like right and wrong, and sin and salvation - are outmoded and a major impediment to human progress.

  • That it is the business of the state and international organizations to reform the family for the good of society.

Just how widely accepted are these principles?

Go into almost any newsroom and ask the following questions to individuals selected on a random basis:

  1. Is there a right to abortion?

  2. Should homosexual unions be legally recognized?

  3. Should mothers with small children work outside the home?

  4. Are traditional gender roles responsible for domestic violence?

You will find a depressing uniformity of opinion here - with 70 to 80% of reporters and editors answering these questions in the affirmative.

With certain honorable exceptions, journalists are intellectually homogenous. They are educated at the same type of institutions by the same sort of professors. They read the same periodicals and books, are influenced by the same thinkers, identify with the same movements and talk incessantly to each other.

A portrait of the average mid-level journalist might look something like this:

  • He or she is relatively young - late 20s or early 30s

  • Unmarried, though probably cohabiting in a long-term relationship

  • Irreligious - not affiliated with a church or synagogue - suspicious of what they call "organized religion"

  • As a percentage of the general population, disproportionately homosexual. Overwhelmingly, women in the media are feminists.

  • Although very political, not particularly well read in history or political theory, probably unable to tell you what happened in the past two decades, let alone 200 years ago. For media innocents, the world is eternally new. The lessons of history are irrelevant because, for them, the Dark Ages ended only with the advent of the Internet.

All of these factors play a part in shaping media reporting on the family.

To cite but one glaring example, consider coverage of the gay marriage debate in the United States.

Once again, the media's perspective is based on a set of underlying assumptions:

  • That homosexuality is genetically determined, unalterable, hence neither an aberration nor a lifestyle choice.

  • That homosexuals are a persecuted minority.

  • That objections to homosexuality are based on ignorance and fear and provoke violence against gays.

  • That homosexual rights - including gay marriage - are matters of basic fairness and good for society.

As with other political questions, there is an enormous gulf between public opinion and the media mindset here.

For instance, according to a Pew Research Poll (conducted between February 11-16 of this year), despite the constant barrage of propaganda, the American people oppose gay marriage by 65% to 28% -- better than a 2-to-1 margin. Forty percent feel so strongly that they would vote against a candidate who favored homosexual marriage, even if they agreed with him on virtually every other issue.

Unlike the media, the public understands that this radical departure from 3,300 years of Western Civilization would be the first step toward turning marriage into a free-form institution - one severed from its religious roots and divorced from its procreative and childrearing functions.

For most Americans, gay marriage is an oxymoron, by combining mutually exclusive concepts - like homicidal pacifists, promiscuous virgins or pious atheists. As a friend of mine says, the proper response to gay marriage is laughter.

It isn't for the media. Homosexual marriage fits perfectly into a worldview shaped by radical autonomy, rights without responsibilities, sexual freedom verging on anarchy, scorn for religious values and an unwillingness to think through the logical consequences of utopian theories.

The media's advocacy of gay marriage has turned coverage of the debate into a travesty. New Republic Senior Editor Jonathan Chait - the liberal editor of a liberal magazine -- thinks most claims of media bias exaggerated. Nevertheless, Chait writes: "At the same time, I do think that reporters often let their cultural predilections drive their coverage of social issues, and the coverage of the gay marriage amendment offers a perfect example."

This may be the understatement of the millennium.

In terms of the marriage debate, consider the almost obsessive attention paid to so-called homosexual families at legislative hearings. This takes the form of ubiquitous photographs of lesbian couples and their children. The media never bother to inform its readers or viewers that these living arrangements represent such a miniscule percentage of American households as to be insignificant.

There is never a discussion of the psychological effects on children. For the media, it's taken for granted that for a child to be reared by two women - or two men - could not conceivably result in psychological harm or stunted emotional development. Even to suggest such a thing is considered irrational and bigoted. By the way, 30 years ago, media liberals insisted that divorce would have no negative effects on children. In the words of a popular '60s song, "When will they ever learn"?

The impact on children is one of many issues the media conveniently exclude from coverage of gay marriage. Others include - the tenuous nature of homosexual relationships, the very high levels of sexually transmitted diseases among gays (according to the Centers for Disease Control - an agency of the U.S. government -- men who engage sex with other men are 860% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease), and the fact that there's no evidence that what's called "sexual orientation" is innate and immutable.

And yet the media continues its pro-gay marriage drumbeat with coverage so one-sided that it makes reporting on abortion seem fair and balanced by comparison.

Take the fawning treatment of comedian Rosie O'Donnell's "coming out" - her anti-climactic announcement that she's a lesbian (only slightly less startling would have been Bill Clinton's confession that he's a heterosexual). You could hardly turn on the television without seeing Rosie and her partner, Rosie denouncing President Bush's support for a marriage amendment, Rosie's mock nuptials in San Francisco, and so on. The only thing missing was -- "Lifestyles of the Lesbian and Famous" starring Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres.

The media has even taken a legitimate concern for the welfare of children and twisted it into an argument for their side of the debate. Thus an article that appeared in The Washington Post on March 17th, about 10-year old Justin McGuire, of Baltimore County, MD, who, we are told, has two mommies.

Writes reporter Fern Shen: "Justin doesn't understand how come his parents can't get married. They consider themselves married, but they would like to be legally married. They'd like to have a wedding and Justin really wants to be the ring bearer."
Justin feels so strongly on the subject, Fern informs us, that the child testified before a committee of the Maryland legislature, questioning a state law that prevents women from marrying women, or men from wedding men. The boy is quoted telling legislators "I mean, isn't this whole, entire country supposed to be about freedom and equality and 'Everybody's created equal"? The answer, Justin, is that people are created equal, behaviors are not.

You see, according to the inverted logic of the liberal media, if you care about kids, you'll support homosexual marriage. That way, children who are raised by homosexuals won't feel out of place.

They will, however, grow up either without a father or a mother - a situation with far more long-term effects than feelings of alienation because the adults you're with can't have their living arrangement sanctioned by the state.

And what about the children of polygamous relationships or liaisons between blood relations? We don't want them to feel different, do we? Again, questions the media never bothers to ask.

Under the banner of rights, freedom and equality, the media openly advocates their brave-new social agenda - without a passing thought to long-term consequences.

Journalists venerate the environment, and worry excessively about deforestation and CO2 emissions. They should consider the impact of tampering with an equally delicate eco-system - the family -- for the sake of gratifying those who believe society exists to validate their whims.

But no individual, enterprise or profession exists in a vacuum. The fate of each is determined by the society they help to shape. We all rely on families for social peace, stability and decency. Without them, the world would be plunged into chaos -- something for reporters to ponder as they pen their latest ode to alternative lifestyles, in the guise of news reporting.



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