Many news organizations don’t really care what their readers think. If you are conservative, this isn’t exactly a news flash. Whether it’s bashing Tea Parties, promoting President Obama, or undermining faith, old school journalists take every chance they can to show disdain for the right.
Sometimes they simply tell them to kiss off.
That’s the case with The Denver Post which ran a front-page photo Wednesday of House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, (D-Denver), kissing his “partner” Greg Wertsch after a bill to OK civil unions passed. The Post ran that photo as its main front-page picture, taking up 20-25 percent of the front page.
They were shocked that not everyone was amused by a typical example of media promoting the gay agenda. The debate went national with both Huffington Post and even the prominent journalism blog Jimromenesko.com chiming in.
Director of Newsroom Operations Linda Shapley naturally defended the decision to run the photo. Choosing editor cliché No. 7, Shapley told readers: “As editors, it’s often our job to make difficult decisions.” But a little analysis shows they knew the impact it would have. They just didn’t care.
The headline on her column first read: “Mark Ferrandino kiss photo shows truth, no matter how objectionable.” But that offended the pro-gay lobby, so the explanation of the offense … offended. The new headline became “Picture of Mark Ferrandino kissing partner shows the truth, even if it offends some.”
Note that both versions emphasized the “truth.” Journalists are constantly convinced their view of the world is truth. All others not so much.
As you read more of her self-serving defense, it’s obvious they were aware it would offend people. “We have received objections to our photographs of gay couples before, so we all knew there would likely be a negative reaction to running the picture of Ferrandino,” she wrote. That’s OK, as long as it offends the right people.
She went on to defend it as “what photographers and photo editors will describe as a ‘moment,’ when a picture shows in a single image the essence of the story.” In this case it was certainly the essence of the story as the Post told it.
That’s because the Post story was just as one-sided. The story included seven different responses to the bill passing. Pro-civil union backers outnumbered opponents 6-1. The story went on to mention “milestones in the gay movement” including “the Stonewall riots, Harvey Milk’s assassination.” Most of the article read like an LGBT press release.
Which is typical for most in the traditional media where gays were both embraced and celebrated decades ago. Readers who disagree or are offended because they might not want to explain two men kissing to a 6-year-old child, well they don’t matter. In years past, when newspapers were still popular ways Americans received news, editors were concerned with delivering a “family newspaper.” Now they care more that they are giving readers the propaganda of a “Modern Family” newspaper.
And it’s exactly what the left wants. The pro-gay group GLAAD, which aims to ban traditional marriage supporters from TV, makes it clear it looks to the media to propagandize. “What people see in the media has a huge impact and GLAAD ensures images of LGBT people and allies grow acceptance, understanding and build support for equality.”
The Post is right in one way. A picture is worth a thousand words and not one of them says anything kind to readers who are not liberal.
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.