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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Wednesday, October 31 2001  

The media's betrayal of trust

As the American institution charged with defending our basic freedom of expression and keeping us informed on the issues vital to our common national interest, the American media generally fall miserably short, which is why I opted out of journalism after working in the vanguard of the field for over 20 years. (My Reformation of Journalism was distributed widely as one of very few theories of mass communication in print at the time; my Kuyper Institute at Stanford developed mass communication theory courses [as described here on Monday] that are now imitated at journalism schools.)

The pandering by the New York Times (by most accounts, the nation's most important newspaper) to its public's baser instincts during a period in which spiritual grounding and values were much needed, and was widely expressed publicly everywhere the public was gathering, as illustrated yesterday is only a small example of the failings.

At the most basic level, the biases of the media's managers and reporters make balanced reporting a rarity. The media are experts at getting more than one reply to a question while knowing that in all likelihood all of the people being interviewed share very similar views, knowing that this will pass in most people's uncritical observation as an attempt at balance or fairness. But look at any really controversial issue and show me any attempt at balanced coverage.

To cite a recent incident that I happened to research even though I don't attempt to keep up with the field any longer, take the reporting on Jerry Falwell's unwise off-the-cuff statements, interpreted rightly or wrongly as blame-placing, just after the attacks on America last month. Did you see any quotes in any major media indicating that Falwell was given a chance to explain himself (he was "quoted" but only from his original, offending, on-the-air from-the-top-of-his-head speech, so far as I could find). Furthermore, did any one of the major media attacking him even mention that a couple of days later he apologized and recanted his remarks, in some detail? Fox News' Bill O'Rielly was still attributing the original expression Falwell made to him after his recantation, which amounts to a blatant lie. The irony there is that the Fox News Channel is the only major medium I've seen even promising balanced coverage in its promotional ads (and in some reports, I've been impressed at its efforts).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

For Halloween, tombstone epitaphs

Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona, in the cowboy days of the 1880’s. He’s buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:

Here lies Lester Moore | Four slugs from a .44 | No Les No More.

In a Georgia cemetery:

“I told you I was sick!”

John Penny’s epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:

Reader if cash thou art | In want of any | Dig 4 feet deep | And thou wilt find a Penny.

On Margaret Daniel’s grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia:

She always said her feet were killing her | but nobody believed her.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:

On the 22nd of June | - Jonathan Fiddle - | Went out of tune.

The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania is almost a consumer

Who was fatally burned | March 21, 1870 | by the explosion of a lamp | filled with “R.E. Danforth’s | Non-Explosive Burning Fluid”"

Found on the 'net


Father, may my song today be a sweet sound in Your ears--even if in Yours alone. Amen.

A.W. Tozer
Sent by Jim Martin

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