Friday, September 15, 2006

Daily Herald Accuses Culture Campaign of "Inaccurate and Unfair Crossfire"

In the recent editorial (“Be wary of charges of bias in the news”, Sept 15), the Daily Herald criticized Sandy Rios and “her Culture Campaign” for “outrageously inaccurate and unfair crossfire,” a reference to our voice in the District 214 books controversy. They said:

We’ve been vaguely aware of the cynicism wrought by partisan celebrities such as Rush Limbaugh on the right and Michael Moore on the left, but it didn’t hit home until a recent controversy in Northwest Suburban High School District 214 over a required reading list.

Conservative radio personality Sandy Rios and her Culture Campaign sought to turn the debate into a cause celebre and caught us repeatedly in its outrageously inaccurate and unfair crossfire.

Here’s how the group summarized one of our editorials on the subject: “Daily Herald Labels Board Member A ‘Reflexive Conservative’ While Defending ‘Highly Qualified Educators’ Forcing Pornography On Kids.”

Daily Herald editors went on to say regarding the books controversy:

“We can see why reasonable parents would be, at the least, uneasy with some of the selections. We’re uneasy with some.” Click here for the full text.
“Uneasy” is a mild reaction to passages so filthy they could not be printed in the newspaper: graphic depictions of sodomy, oral sex, sex with animals, and masturbation with a hot dog. In an apparent effort to remain ‘neutral’ between District 214 educators and concerned parents, editors failed to accurately convey the shocking depravity of these passages. Without access to the actual excerpts in question readers were left to conclude that Board Member Leslie Pinney and concerned parents were merely ‘reflexive’ conservatives attempting to interfere with ‘highly qualified’ educators just trying to do their job. We provided the excerpts at our website so parents could evaluate them firsthand.

We here at Culture Campaign admit to being 'biased'. We are 'biased' by our belief that the God of the Bible exists and He is not neutral about the corruption of children.

What is truly astonishing, however, is that the editors at the Daily Herald seem to believe that they themselves are objective and balanced. This is neither possible or even desirable. Decisions must be made (by people with opinions) about everything from which stories to report, which facts to mention, which sources should be quoted, to which words are used - (ie.
inferring that Leslie Pinney is a 'reflexive' conservative as opposed to District 214 educators who are described as 'highly qualified'). The adjective 'reflexive' was neither necessary nor even true. However it did reflect the reporter's opinion of Ms. Pinney.

It is not possible to be neutral. It is not even desirable. To be neutral between right and wrong is immoral.

Let me provide a final illustration on a different topic: homosexuality. There seems to exist a virtual blackout of any and all reporting in the mainstream media including the Daily Herald which would call into question the wisdom of encouraging homosexual behavior. From the incredibly high disease and injury statistics among the gay male population, to the fact that children raised in gay households have a much higher incidence of becoming gay themselves - none of it gets reported in the Daily Herald or any other mainstream media outlet for that matter. The Daily Herald has apparently decided these are not newsworthy facts.

This does not stop Daily Herald editors from making the following statement:

But when journalists are working well and, may we say, contributing to the democracy, it is because they are exploring points of view. Right-wing and left-wing critics cannot do it because, by their nature, they are trying to prove a point of view.

Exploring points of view? The conservative point of view regarding homosexuality seems to be one point of view they have brazenly dismissed.

The first priority of the news media should not be neutrality, but truth. Neutrality is not even possible.