The New York Times' Jere Longman is under fire for criticizing American sprinter Lolo Jones, seen competing Aug. 6, 2012, in a women's 100-meter hurdles heat at the London Olympics.AP/New York Times
The year is coming to a close. Thank goodness.
Maybe in 2013 we won’t have to worry about Honey Boo Boo, Gangnam Style, Kony 2012 and Mayans. Those topics and more were the ephemera of the year. While Democrats and Republicans were fighting to see which party could run America, the traditional media were trying to run it into the ground by consistently taking a one-sided approach to coverage.
On every major news story of the year – abortion, gay marriage, the economy, the fiscal cliff and guns – major media outlets consistently and openly sided with the left. Gone was any pretense of neutrality. From the media’s campaign against Mitt Romney to their campaign for gun control, the bias of the press was never worse.
Picking out bad media moments is like looking for egos in Washington or corruption in Congress. Here are the year’s lowlights:
10. The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife: Journalists love anything that tears down Christianity. Give them a spicy tale of Jesus’s wife and they treat it like it’s, well, gospel. The New York Times front-paged a story about a cell phone-sized scrap of papyrus that included the phrase: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’” CBS reporter Allen Pizzey claimed it “challenges the very foundation of Christian thinking.” When the Smithsonian pulled a planned documentary and experts said they thought the papyrus was bogus, journalists were reluctant to report that news.
9. $1.2 Billion Reasons to Complain About ABC: Jim Avila’s crusade against a meat company led to at least 2,000 lost jobs and more than half a billion dollars in economic damage. After that, we know where the beef is – in court. Beef Products Inc. is suing ABC for $1.2 billion for reporting that took a popular form of lean beef and rebranded it as “pink slime.” ABC’s agenda-based reporting gets dragged into the light for all to see. BPI’s operation is clean and professional. Can ABC say the same?
7. Occupying The Media: The Occupy Wall Street revolutionaries might not be in the news as much as they once were, but they still occupy the hearts of many journalists. That includes the riots, arson, violence, a bomb plot, intimidation of police and arrests (7,719 at last count). Journalists said it was America’s “Arab Spring” and despite constant coverage, paid little attention to the movement’s thuggery.
6. Guns Are Evil, Except When Team Obama Ships Them to Mexico: Shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, were awful tragedies made far worse by agenda-oriented reporting, especially by CNN. Yet when the “fast and furious” scandal killed up to 300 Mexicans with Obama admin-approved guns, few in the media cared.
5. The War on Women: The media’s war on women has become a self-defining fantasy where any support for traditional marriage, the life of babies or more is anti-womyn. Yet, when New York Times writer Jeré Longman attacks Olympian Lolo Jones just before her big race, he’s being a good custodian of the 1st Amendment.
4. The Deadly Islam Video: The murder of our ambassador to Libya and three others was a great example of how the media cover for the president. CNN’s Candy Crowley actually intervened in the presidential debate to side with Obama and derail discussion of Libya. Journalists followed the president’s lead and blamed a video for murderous protests and even the initial attack, instead of defending free speech.
3. Media Support for Gay Marriage: Newsies looked like an aging cast of “Glee,” with almost every major news organization showing its support for gay marriage. CNN’s Anderson Cooper came out; ABC weather guy Sam Champion even married his boyfriend. But coverage isn’t just about rights, it’s about wrongs – “journalistic” attacks on Chick-fil-A, a shooting against a conservative organization that opposes gay marriage and more.
2. We’re Not Dems, We Just Play Them On TV, and Everywhere Else: Democrats, er, journalists who love Sen. John Kerry, despite his wealth, attacked Mitt Romney for far less wealth on everything even his wife’s rehab horses, as well as his faith. Most media election coverage was more electioneering for Obama than journalism. We finally have a three-party system: Republicans, Democrats and The Media.
1. Let’s Pretend You’re Racist: The Trayvon Martin shooting was a tragedy. NBC’s awful reporting made it worse. Lawyers for George Zimmerman sued NBC after that network’s editing made the man look like a racist. NBC fired three employees but still maintains the video was doctored in an “error” network execs “deeply regret.” They better hope their jury pool won’t be as tainted as the Zimmerman trial.
Sadly, 2013 will likely be worse.
Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.