One of these days, CNN will have to dispense with the ominous music it uses for Christian documentaries and go for the full effect, using the Jaws soundtrack.
Last night, in the third segment of a six-hour series called God’s Warriors, CNN served up a two-hour, heady brew of fear, distortion and manipulative media techniques to paint a scary picture of conservative Christians in America. The first two segments, featuring Muslims and Jews, reportedly racked up just over two million viewers per night. All three segments will air again late Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Reporter Christiane Amanpour generally effects the air of a National Geographic anthropologist trying to appear open-minded while exploring a slightly disturbing culture. However, she can’t quite conceal her hostility, making loaded statements in the guise of questions, such as this line to youth leader Ron Luce. Luce had just explained his group’s standards for girls’ modest dress. To his credit, Luce, who directs Teen Mania, keeps his cool.
AMANPOUR: But Ron, that’s what the Taliban said. They kept women in their house because men couldn’t be trusted around them.
LUCE: Well, there’s extremists, and you came to our event and can see we’re not extremists. The kids are normal. They have fun. And they wear normal clothes. They have not adapted. They haven’t adopted the dress code for sexualization that’s happened in our culture.
Perhaps Amanpour was asking the straw man question to allow Luce to knock it out of the park, which he did. In fact, the segment on Teen Mania and its Battle Cry rallies portrays the Christian kids as normal, if emotionally overwrought, and gives some crucial and damaging airtime to San Francisco protesters who scream epithets and accuse the Christian kids of hate, bigotry, etc. One man dressed in a nun’s habit and Kabuki-like makeup gets an up-close moment to exclaim, “This city is about joy, not about hate.” Well, okay. Who would you want your kid hanging around with, the freshly scrubbed teens singing worship music or the guy with the spiky blue Mohawk?