You don't have to be a Harvard University researcher to figure out that the media is infected with liberal bias -- or to realize that some left-wing journalists will use any means necessary to create ideological narratives that fit their worldview. The Rathergate debacle at CBS News involving faked National Guard memos to smear President Bush was an extreme example. But if you look closely, you'll find everyday examples of Serious Journalists manufacturing the news and concocting social crises.
Amazingly, they always manage to make conservatives look racist, intolerant and evil. Funny how that works.
On Monday, the local Fox affiliate in Birmingham, Ala., blew the whistle on an ABC News sting operation intended to elicit bigoted responses from local residents. The national ABC News program "Primetime Live" hired actors to pose as same-sex couples and engage in public displays of affection on a park bench. Birmingham police department sources told the Fox affiliate about the social experiment; a local merchant spotted an RV where the ABC crew was stationed. The merchant was told "ABC was working on a week-long project to see how people would react . . . A FOX6 news reporter approached the RV and talked with an 'actor' who said, 'Yes, we are working for ABC News.'"
Welcome to Media Theatrics 101. Instead of simply interviewing folks in the South or staking out real gay couples, ABC News thinks it's fair and objective to stage-manage social experiments and call it journalism. Next thing you know, they'll hire celebrity prankster Ashton Kutcher to jump out and yell, "You just got Punk'd!" as passers-by get ensnared and -- ABC News hopes -- exhibit the signs of prejudice they are so sure exist in Southerners.
Does this politically correct set-up sound familiar? It should. Last spring, I exposed a similar news media production engineered by NBC's "Dateline," which recruited Muslim males to be sent to sports events and NASCAR races in the South and across the heartland to expose fans as anti-Muslim, anti-Arab bigots. Yes, the same program and network that were humiliated for faking GM pick-up truck explosions attempted to manufacture another crisis to give "Dateline's" talking heads yet another opportunity to furrow their brows, shake their heads and win more Emmy awards.
My readers offered their own news sting ideas:
"I wonder if they would consider sending a professor wearing an 'I Love W' button and an American flag pin into the faculty lounge at Harvard or some other liberal ivory tower with a hidden camera. I would love to see that experiment."
"Perhaps when I get back from deployment, you can follow me around Seattle and see how I get treated wearing my Navy uniform . . . "
"Why don't you set up some white guy with hidden cameras, put a George Bush T-Shirt on him and have him walk down a street in Pakistan. Or, better yet, have him walk down a street in Detroit. I'll just bet you could get a lot of bigoted reactions . . . "
"Wear a pro-life T-shirt to a Women's Studies class." Or a "Marriage Is Between One Man, One Woman" T-shirt to The New York Times newsroom.
For many left-wing do-gooders in the media, the ideological end -- exposing America as an irredeemably racist, sexist, homophobic, elitist nation -- justifies these manufactured means. That destructive philosophy has manifested itself on countless college campuses, where professors and students alike have been caught cooking up fake hate crimes to show how racist our society is.
On Monday, in a separate but rather related incident, a student journalist/College Democrat at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., admitted that she had drawn swastikas on her own dorm room door. Sarah Marshak signed a confession, according to campus officials, after security cameras caught her in the act. Her campus publication, The Hatchet, said she told the staff that she "only drew the final three of six swastikas on her door in an attempt to highlight what she characterized as GW's inaction."
It's a short leap from hoax crimes to hoax news. Marshak could get expelled, but there may yet be an opening for her at the stage production unit of ABC News, NBC News or CBS News.
The de facto dinosaur network news motto, after all, is "All the news that's fit to stage."