My last column was about online education and the opportunity it affords to end leftist rule in academia. Now, let's look at the other citadel of secular liberalism, media, and see how the recent cracking of ACORN shows why outsiders, including Christians, have the best opportunity in almost two centuries to become journalistic leaders.
In case you missed it, 25-year-old video journalist James O'Keefe and 20-year-old Hannah Giles captured on film ACORN employees in five cities explaining to them how to use taxpayer funds to buy a house to use as a brothel employing under-age girls from El Salvador. ACORN's advice included: Claim the prostitutes as dependents so as to collect the child tax credit, and have the adult hookers list their occupation as "freelance performing artist."
Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart masterminded distribution of the videos, which went viral to such a point that eventually even the august New York Times had to take notice. Both branches of Congress felt the heat and voted to defund ACORN: The "community organizing" group had received tens of millions over the past 15 years and was in line to get much, much more because of its tight ties with President Obama. (Watch for some quiet congressional attempts to restore ACORN's funding.)
So what? Well, for 25 years I've heard thousands of complaints from Christian conservatives about the liberal press. They said we can't compete with television networks and big newspapers unless we're willing to pour in hundreds of millions of dollars. That once was true, but today we can't compete with big liberal newspapers unless . . . unless we're willing to pour in . . . hundreds. The ACORN videotaping reportedly cost less than $2,000.
The exposing of ACORN was a journalistic gusher, and those are rare. Some Christians would take issue with O'Keefe and Giles posing as a pimp and hooker: Should journalists be deceptive in that way? That issue requires more discussion, but it's not crucial to my point that the internet has opened up astounding possibilities for doing a lot with a little—and it's moving us into a new era for American journalism, one in which Christians can compete as we have not done in a major way since the mid-19th century.
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