Kathryn Lopez

To watch some media liberals react to fundamental issues involving family life is to be glad that conservatives exist. I think everyone but dyed-in-the-wool liberal ideologues would agree with this -- and nothing better illustrates it than a recent day in my life of TV-news watching.

For my first example, I rewind to a segment of the "Today" show. Co-host Meredith Vieira was interviewing two 20-somethings and one 30-year-old who took pledges to remain abstinent until married. They made these promises because they want to respect themselves and they want others to respect them.

Appearing after a canned reporting piece featuring "virginity vans," these three young people expressed themselves in a logical, sensible way, eloquently talking not about wearing their virginity on their sleeves, but about expecting the best from themselves and others. However, Vieira approached them as if they were aliens -- completely unheard of.

Now, be honest: If your child told you, "I'm not having sex until I'm married," wouldn't you be relieved? Our morning TV guide apparently wouldn't be. Vieira, a mother, seemed anything but welcoming to the idea. She appeared to channel a Planned Parenthood screed. Oppose those backward conservatives who hate sex!

I saw the same kind of illogical left-wing reflex later that day, when the GOP candidates for president participated in a CNN/YouTube debate. One of the questioners appeared with his father and asked about black-on-black crime. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney responded by praising the father for supporting his son and focusing on the need to turn around urban societal breakdown.

Romney continued: "It's time ... that we go back to the kind of values that allow kids to have moms and dads. In the African-American community today, 68 percent of kids born are born out of wedlock. And so we're going to try and once again reinculcate in this country the ... values that have made us so strong: family values."

The host, Anderson Cooper, quickly interrupted: "The question is, what are you going to do about the war in the inner city?" he asked Romney.

Romney is going to emphasize the importance of marriage and fatherhood, Anderson!

Romney stuck to his sensible guns. "Well, one, about the war in the inner city -- number one is to get more moms and dads. That's number one. And thank heavens Bill Cosby said it like it was. That's where the root of crime starts." He then went on to talk about education reform and policing policies.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.