Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Anderson Cooper is one of the class acts on cable news. He is bright, personable, and very thorough as a journalist. Therefore, on occasion I will compare the coverage of major stories on CNN with both the network news outlets and Fox News. Although I have always liked Cooper’s personal style, I often disagree with his slant on the news.

As I flipped through the channels last Friday night, I was offended by the content of the show. It seemed to me that overt propaganda was masquerading as news on Cooper’s “360” show. As I have already stated, typically my concerns with Cooper are minor and I hardly ever resort to “fussing” at the screen. Well, this segment got me riled up.

Let’s start with the back story. Eleven-year old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was found hanging by an extension cord on the second floor of his Springfield home last week. His mother, Sirdeaner Walker, said that her son had been taunted and threatened by classmates at the New Leadership Charter School for weeks. Walker described how her 6th-grade son had been targeted by students, calling him “gay,” making fun of his clothing, and threatening to kill him. The mother had continually asked for school officials to step in to mediate on her son’s behalf every week over the course of the last six months.

In a recent incident, Walker said that a girl began to threaten Carl when had bumped a TV with his backpack, which in turn bumped into the girl.

Featuring Carl’s unfortunate death was appropriate. Sirdeaner Walker had no doubt hoped to give her son the best education money could buy. She concluded that the gay accusation was the straw that broke the camel’s back, causing the child to plummet into an emotional abyss. Ms. Walker said that the administration’s only attempt to solve the problem was to have Carl and the girl eat lunch together for a week - to try to dispel the conflict between them. But this obviously did not produce positive results.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.