Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Latest Encounter with "The News"

Apparently because of letters I wrote to City Council members about their proposal to grant special privileges to the LGBT (which will, by its very nature, mean a denial of the conscience rights for religious citizens), I was asked for an interview by the local Fox News TV station. I said yes and the fellow came out to the Panera's on West Maple where I was working on this month's Vital Signs letter.

I had met this fellow before when he reported on our prayer vigils and sidewalk counseling outside the Planned Parenthood abortion mill. So I knew he wasn't particularly friendly to the Christian cause. But, no matter; after a few hundred of these things, I know the drill. And that means, do your best and don't fret about what they do in the editing of the film or the writing of the story. There's nothing you can do about that.

Anyhow, the interview went okay though it was clear that the reporter wanted a particular angle from me which he couldn't (and never did) get. I answered his questions but in a way that underscored some basic foundations. I was friendly, smiling, brief and direct.

But, as I figured, my most important answers didn't make it on the finished tape. What were they?

Question: "What do you want the Council members to consider before they vote tomorrow?" Answer: "Well, I'd love them to carefully think about how the moral standards that have stood Western civilization in such good stead for a couple of millenia need to be valued and protected, not dismissed by a bizarre sense of political correctness."

Question: "Do you think the City Council has handled the issue well?" Answer: "Not at all. Legal changes that are so dramatically deviant from those moral standards I just mentioned should not be decided by a handful of people. At the very least, responsible government would allow this proposal to be voted on by the citizens who will have to live under it."

Question: "Why do you oppose the proposal?" Answer: "Beyond the moral standards I've already spoken of, the proposal would, by its very nature, deny the rights of those whose religious convictions require a clearly-defined sexual morality. To please the LGBT, the conscience rights of employers, landlords, businesspersons, professionals and others who happen to be practicing Christians, Orthodox Jews or devout Muslims will be overrun."

Like I said, though, those didn't make it on air. In fact, the story that was reported emphasized once again that Omaha's Fox News channel doesn't lean towards the right at all. Quite the opposite. Particularly irresponsible was their continued use of a public opinion poll provided by the LGBT activists without ever stating just where the poll came from, who paid for it or what questions were asked. And the segment ended with the anchorwoman jumping in to remind the audience how many other cities have passed such legislation. Baldly biased reporting indeed.

Rev. Phil Kayser has had a similar experience and he shared the following in a comment on Facebook. "I have to agree with you, Denny. Fox News leans way left with moments of fairness. Action 3 News (KMTV) doesn't even bother giving the illusion of fairness. They 'interviewed' me for half an hour to get the 'other side of the story' about the LGBTQ pickets of our church - only it wasn't an interview. It was asking the same question 30 different ways, trying to get a soundbite that they could demonize me with. The interviewer was clearly frustrated by the end that she got a totally different story than she thought she would get. I have a hard time even calling them a news organization. It's more like a propaganda machine."

Another friend, a print journalist who now works as a editor of a local newspaper, suggested that the bias was perhaps too typical of the breed. "TV reporters," he quipped, "are the worst. They're like vampires, they want blood."

Prayers are very much in order for the City Council vote today. I fear that all the signals point to the proposal passing...but our duty to pray doesn't hinge on prospective outcomes. So pray.