Mr. Kalsbeek is a teacher in Covenant Christian High School and a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church, Walker, Michigan. Previous article in this series: June 2007, p. 394.
“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”
In the former articles written under the title, “Issachar vs. the Scribes, Revisited,” the point has been made that modernday Issachar should look for and be able to identify bias in news reporting, but that media biasdoes not necessarily meanmedia deception. Since the writing of those articles, Joel Belz has written an article in the April 21, 2007 issue of Worldmagazine under the title “Seven big lies” in which he argues that the major media is attempting to deceive us on at least seven significant, specific issues. In this article we will very briefly discuss those seven areas: evolution, global warming, abortion, homosexuality, stem-cell research, Islam, and pluralism. In connection with each we will include what Belz wrote in his April 21 column and in some instances present other source material and commentary.
In his introduction Belz inquires:
So why in the world do we keep listening to our nation’s major media? Why do the nation’s big newspapers, radio and television networks keep getting a pass—when day after day and night after night they keep hurling king-sized lies our way? Just to remind us how gullible we all tend to be, here’s a short list of where the big media regularly get it not just slightly skewed but exactly backwards. Here are seven Big Lies we all are subjected to virtually all the time.¹
Belz writes concerning evolution, “Amazingly, according to polls, the masses—after at least two generations of propaganda—aren’t convinced. By majorities of at least 2-1, they still think ‘God’ had something to do with where everything came from. But evolution remains a basic assumption of the elites who control the media. The evidence? Almost never will you hear an argument. What you almost always get instead is an ‘expert.'”
What you also will not hear from the mainstream media is anything about the relationship between some of the ideas of Charles Darwin and some of the Nazi and Communist crimes carried out by the likes of Hitler and Stalin. According to David Noebel their crimes can be traced directly to Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest. Noebel writes, “In fact, Hitler criticized Christianity because it was in rebellion against nature! Nature being Darwin’s theory of natural selection, which works every hour of every day to bring about earth’s ‘favored races.'”²
Nor will you ever be told that the complete title of Darwin’s famous book is The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. And this for obvious reasons: Darwin’s racism might tend to lead one to question his reverenced theory.
Of further interest with respect to the theory of evolution is the current tendency of some to question the political qualifications of those who reject it. Way back in 1986 a man by the name of Gorman wrote: “My issue is apes. The apes are my relatives. I’m proud to have them, and I don’t intend to vote for anybody who isn’t related to them, or is ashamed to admit it. I have one question for each presidential candidate, and I think it’s a question everyone should want to know the answer to: ‘Are you kin to the apes or not?’ Once we know, we’ll know how to vote.”³
More recently, May of 2007 to be exact, Tom Teepen pontificated,
“It ought to count as a national embarrassment not just that the 10 Republican presidential aspirants were asked in their first debate whether they believe in evolution but, worse, that the question was called for. And worst of all, that three testified to their disbelief.
So far has the Republican Party fallen into a sink of anti-intellectualism. Indeed, into fantasy. You might as well ask the candidates whether they believe in ghosts, fairies and calorie-free doughnuts.
One doesn’t believe in or not believe in evolution, any more than one believes in physics. Evolution simply is.4
Concerning global warming Belz directs us to his column in an earlier issue of World where he suggests that those “global-warming folks” keep hurting their own cause, and weakening their own argument by exaggerating their evidence and attempting to bully their opponents by insisting that the debate on global warming is finished and it’s now time for action.
Belz points out, however, that the “global warming folks” can’t get their act together on what they are predicting.
…All the current hullabaloo stems from a series of four reports coming this year from the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” a UN-sponsored group of scientists from around the world. But that very IPCC is notable for having quietly adjusted one of its main predictions earlier this year: In 2001, the IPCC was saying that within the next few decades we should expect to watch the oceans of the world rise by as much as 35 inches. In this year’s IPCC reports, that forecast has been reduced to just 16.5 inches. And both those prognostications are supposed to be taken seriously in the context of Al Gore’s warning in his famous movie that the oceans are likely to rise by no less than 10 feet!
Is global warming real? Almost certainly. Is there room for honest skepticism about its extent, its causes, and the best ways to counter it? Both the volume and the tone of the experts suggest they want to allow no such room.
And that’s just the point. When voices get raised, when the facts get exaggerated, when you’re told repeatedly that the discussion is already over—that’s a good time to say in a measured tone: “Wait a minute. I still have a few more questions I’d like to ask.”5
Major media lies about abortion. Belz writes, “Just imagine 45 million people dying from any other cause over the last 34 years since the Roe v. Wade decision—and then avoid painstaking media analysis. Where are the truth-seekers about the connection between those 45 million deaths and the Social Security crisis? Or truth-seekers exploring a possible connection nonbetween those 45 million deaths and our nation’s need now to allow a steady stream of problematic immigrants? Where are the truth-tellers who will show—on TV—what really happens during an abortion?”
We would inquire further, where are the truth-tellers who with drumbeat consistency browbeat us with: “a mother has a right to control what happens to her own body,” when it comes to informing us of the research from immunology that demonstrates that the pre-born child clearly is not part of the mother’s body.
…(T)he most recent work in humans has established beyond doubt that IDO (indoleamine2,3- dioxygenase) is a specific mechanism at the mother-child interface for preventing the mother’s immune system from rejecting her child….
The research also highlights the fact that the child’s individuality— its unique genetic makeup —exists from the moment of conception. At conception the new person’s genetic instructions come together for the first time—in a single cell called the zygote. But it is not until day 6 that IDO production kicks in. Why day 6? Well, day 6 is a preparation day for day 7, when the new embryo first attaches itself to its mother’s womb so that it can draw nutrients from its mother’s bloodstream. This is exactly the time when the mother’s killer T cells would normally begin to attack and reject it—if not for the amazing protection already provided by the baby’s IDO production on the previous day.6
The usual worshipers of science ignore the science when it interferes with their agenda.
Instead of scientific truth we receive lies like that of the April 9, 2006 New York Times Magazine cover story about Carmen Climaco. In that article freelance writer Jack Hitt castigates anti-abortion laws of El Salvador by informing Times readers how Climaco received a 30- year prison term for aborting an 18- week-old fetus. Hitt’s lies were later exposed by a pro-life group when they reported the forensic examination results concerning the death of Climaco’s child. Those results showed that in actuality it was a full-term normal delivery, and that the official cause of death was asphyxia by strangulation. According to columnist Michelle Malkin, the Times “refused to acknowledge Jack Hitt’s false reporting.” She goes on to suggest: “The next time you hear a New York Times columnist defend the paper’s commitment to accuracy, fairness and ethical standards, give them two words: Carmen Climaco.”7
Concerning major media reporting on homosexuality Belz asks a simple question: “Why no serious pursuit of why homosexuals have a life span 20 years shorter than the general population?”
How many people in this country know that? How many know that the nation’s blood banks will not receive the blood of those who have engaged in homosexual activity? Yet homosexual practices are portrayed in public school sex-education classes to unsuspecting children as healthy alternatives in lifestyle. One might think their dogmatic commitment to Darwin’s concept of “survival of the fittest” would trump this culture of death. Instead, commitment to it is leading to a new definition of the very foundation of society: the family.
The major media’s refusal to tell the truth about the homosexual lifestyle is having serious consequences, and it makes them responsible for placing more and more members of society at risk to its dreaded diseases.
Joel Belz’s list of “Seven big lies” of the media includes also the media’s treatment of the stem-cell research controversy:
Almost every day on the news, you’ll hear references to conservatives’ opposition to “stem-cell research.” I’m offering a free lifetime subscription to World to anyone who can identify a prominent conservative who holds to such a point of view. The debate, of course, is about embryonic (emphasis ck) stem-cell research— a practice that requires the discarding of early human embryos. The mainstream media so often and so consistently confuse the two practices that their basic honesty has to be called into question. 8
Furthermore, when it comes to legislation for the public funding of embryonic stem-cell research, the media consistently makes it appear that the president opposes the research. In actuality it would appear that he is not opposed to embryonic stem-cell research as much as he does not want to offend his conservative political base by signing a bill that would approve the use of taxpayer dollars to fund the research.
Concerning the media’s “big lie” about Islam, Belz posits, “Mainstream media, like mainstream politicians (including President Bush), dance dishonestly around this one—and for understandable reasons. But isn’t it a hallmark of serious journalism that the truth must be pursued no matter the cost?”9
With this we concur. Though Belz does not delineate the “understandable reasons,” no doubt one is fear of violent reprisals from believers in Islam. For further commentary on these reasons and the mainstream media’s response to Islam (or lack thereof), we refer the reader to Standard Bearer volume 82 (p. 106) and the article titled “Western Responses to Islam: The Secular Response.”
Before we move on however, we should consider briefly one specific example of the media’s non-between response to Islam. In May of 2007 a poll of American Muslims was conducted. The results showed that of American Muslims less than 30 years of age 26% believe that suicide bombings are sometimes acceptable to defend their religion and 60% are not sure that Arabs were involved in the attack on 9/11. While it’s true that caution must be exercised when considering poll results, as far as the mainstream media is concerned this was a non-story. One would think such poll results would have generated a flurry of investigative reporting, but, alas, nothing.
Pluralism is the last of the “Seven big lies” of the media that Belz identifies. He writes: “Assumed by all elites to be an indicator of a mature and virtuous society, pluralism never seems to face the serious scrutiny of the media. Nor does the public get much help exploring exactly what pluralism, multiculturalism, and similar so-called qualities ultimately mean. Basic test: How do the media determine which movements can be mocked and ridiculed, and which ones can’t?”10 A follow-up question: Why are media-perceived inconsistencies of Christianity immediately exposed, condemned, and laughed at, while those of Islam ignored?
Belz concludes “Seven big lies” with a plea: “On all these issues— and they’re not tiny, insignificant social questions—we’re not asking that the media agree with us. All we want is an honest discussion. So long as such a conversation is regularly denied, why should we not conclude that someone actually means to be lying to us?”11
Good question, Joel!
¹ Joel Belz, “Seven big lies,” World April 21, 2007: 6.
² David Noebel, “Darwinian Fairytales,” The Journal March 2007: 4.
³ James Gorman, “Would You Vote for a Man Who Says He’s no Kin to an Ape?, Discover September, 1986: 27.
4. Tom Teepen, “Evolution Question was Embarrassing,” The Wichita Eagle May 30, 2007.
5. Joel Belz, “Protesting too much,” World March 24/31, 2007:10.
6. Alexander Williams, “Abortion argument unravels,” Creation Sept.-Nov., 2005: 18.
7. Michelle Malkin, “The Times’ false abortion story,” The Grand Rapids Press Jan. 6, 2007: A10.
8. Joel Belz, “Seven big lies,” World April 21, 2007: 6.
9. Belz 6.
10. Belz 6.
11. Belz 6.