By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Statistics show that 1.6 percent of the population identifies itself as gay or lesbian. But judging from the hysteria over Indiana’s religious freedom law, it seems that many of them are in positions of power in the media. These power brokers are not only openly gay, but also anti-Christian. Even Holy Week hasn’t kept them from demonstrating their anti-Christian animus.
Indiana’s Republican Governor Mike Pence spoke on Tuesday about the media misinformation over his state’s religious freedom bill. The “perception problem” he referred to is of the liberal media’s making. In fact, one can argue that the misperception was deliberately created by the media.
“I have to tell you,” he said to the press and the public, “that the gross mischaracterizations about this bill early on and some of the reckless reporting by some in the media about what this bill was all about was deeply disappointing to me and to millions of Hoosiers.” He called the coverage a “smear.”
Pence was reluctant to identify the source of the bias—homosexual influence in the major media. But until conservative politicians step forward to identity the real source of the problem, the homosexuals will continue to win the public relations battle and hide behind the façade of “objective” coverage when none exists. The fact is that the liberal media and the gay lobby are essentially one and the same.
It’s this kind of media bias that should not have come as a surprise to Pence, a former member of Congress and a strong conservative.
Liberal media bias is an old problem. The new wrinkle over the last several years has been the relentless promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.
Two years ago a Pew Research Center study of news media coverage of the gay marriage debate found that “Stories with more statements supporting same-sex marriage outweighed those with more statements opposing it by a margin of roughly 5-to-1.” Pew reported, “The findings show how same-sex marriage supporters have had a clear message and succeeded in getting that message across all sectors of mainstream media.”
The media know they’re biased, of course. They are careful to conceal the depth and extent of the bias, in the sense that few members of the public are being told that most of the major news organizations are financial backers of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA). Literally all of the major media, ranging from MSNBC on the left to Fox News on the right, are in bed with the NLGJA.
However, we were somewhat surprised to find that even a financial channel such as CNBC is not above the slanted coverage. On Monday, as we reported, coverage of the markets and economics gave way to a lengthy interview with open lesbian Kara Swisher, who smeared opponents of gay rights as the equivalent of racists.
Regardless of what happens in Indiana, where Pence has vowed to clarify the statute, the issue won’t go away.
The Indiana case should serve as a lesson in how the media distort the news. The clear homosexual/media strategy, in this case, has been to redefine discrimination as the failure to do what homosexuals have demanded that you do, without explaining to the public how the meaning of the term has been changed to meet the demands of the powerful gay lobby.
Since our major media organs are openly pro-homosexual, we have to conclude that the bias in the Indiana case is deliberately designed to fool the American people into thinking that homosexuals are the victims when they are, in fact, the victimizers.
In practical terms, this bias is reflected in the typical ongoing failure of the media to quote pro-family and Christian voices, such as American Family Association of Indiana Executive Director Micah Clark, who has called the claim that the law bestows a “license to discriminate” as “perhaps the biggest lie about this law.” Pence said much the same thing at this press conference.
If our media had simply bothered to cover the other side of the story, rather than rely on pro-homosexual interest groups, we might have gotten some truth and facts in the national debate.
The victims of this bias, unfortunately, include top CEOs and businesspeople, such as Marriott International CEO Arne Sorensen, who called Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act “madness.”
Upon reflection, Sorensen must himself be mad or completely misinformed. Or, perhaps, he’s just pandering to homosexuals for their business. Marriott was named Corporation of the Year by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in 2014. It received a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s “Corporate Equality Index.”
The Human Rights Campaign is the group whose co-founder, Terry Bean, has been arrested on child sex-abuse charges.
Perhaps people like Sorensen don’t want to know the facts and simply don’t care whether the rights of Christians are violated in the pursuit of providing special rights for homosexuals.
Micah Clark, of the American Family Association (AFA) of Indiana, explains how the Indiana law works: “This law does not allow a person of faith to deny service to someone, nor should it,” he points out. “No Christian bakery owner should say that people involved in homosexual behavior couldn’t shop in their bakery. That, in my opinion is wrong, un-Christian and discriminatory unless the patron is misbehaving ( i.e., ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service’). However, when a customer seeks special participation from the baker, asking him or her to specially decorate a ‘gay’ wedding cake and come set it up at a homosexual wedding, then there is a very different line crossed, and a problem for most people of faith.”
The Indiana law attempts to protect people of faith from being forced to participate in activities that they have religious objections to.
The American Family Association has noted the following four cases in states without a religious freedom law involving Christian business owners being prosecuted, fined or punished for refusing to bow to homosexual demands:
- Washington: Florist Barronelle Stutzman was fined by the state for not providing flowers for a homosexual wedding.
- New Mexico: Photographer Elaine Huguenin was ordered by the state to give a lesbian $7,000 for declining to take pictures of a lesbian wedding.
- Oregon: Aaron and Melissa Klein were fined $150,000 by the state for refusal to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding.
- Kentucky: Blaine Adamson was ordered by the city of Lexington to undergo “sensitivity training” for refusing to print T-shirts for a gay pride festival.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group involved in several of these cases, says there are three key issues at stake:
- Whether the government can force Americans in expressive professions to communicate messages and ideas against their will
- The freedom of Americans to live and do business according to the teachings of their faith and the dictates of their conscience
- Whether Americans should be forced to compromise freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution
The case of the florist in Richland, Washington, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, illustrates the stakes. She is being sued by the Attorney General because she declined to decorate for a same-sex ceremony and may be forced into financial bankruptcy.
Joseph Backholm of the Family Policy Institute of Washington state has commented about the case: “…there’s a problem with the argument that she discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation. She has consistently and happily done business with people who identify as gay for years, including the individuals involved in this case. She considered them friends.” What she objected to was being part of a same-sex marriage ceremony.
In this case, as noted by her attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a state judge ruled that the government can force her to do custom design work and provide wedding support services “even if she has a religious conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
As such, this is a violation of the basic God-given right to freedom of religion that the founders of the United States gave to the American people. It is as sacred as freedom of the press.
This is the issue: In the name of “non-discrimination,” homosexuals want to force Christians and other religious believers to violate the principles of their faith. But this is precisely the point that has been deliberately obscured by a media that functions as the propaganda arm of the militant gay lobby.
ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner noted, “The couple had no problem getting the flowers they needed. In fact, they received several offers for free flowers. So, where’s the tolerance for Barronelle Stutzman? It’s hard to believe that Barronelle should prepare to have everything she has earned and built seized by the state just because of her beliefs about marriage.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook, an open homosexual, attacked Indiana’s religious freedom law, saying, “There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country.” What is dangerous is how a small minority is trying to dictate the acceptance of their lifestyle by the majority. They have gotten this far because the same small minority also seems to control major centers of media and corporate power in the United States.