Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The occasional difference between "the right" and the truth

Apparently the sketches on Saturday Night Live are more truthful than some folks realize.

I ran across these behind-the-scenes glimpses at what some of my friends consider a healthy alternative to the "liberal media." I should clarify that most of my friends are, like me, white Southern American Christians who are traditional and conservative in lifestyle and outlook, but few of any of us easily fit the stereotype those terms evoke.

These anecdotes should affirm what I've said for a long time: that the best way to view ANYTHING on TV, the radio, in the press--pretty much anywhere on a screen or in print--is with a healthy skepticism, remembering that the info is presented by fallible humans (some more fallible than others), many of whom are easily (even eagerly) biased by various political, financial and ego-based influences. Of course these articles are best read with that in mind as well. Sola scriptura, y'all.

From The Nation:
"My First (and Last) Time With Bill O'Reilly" by David Cole


Excerpted from Ben Witherington's blog post titled:
The Virginal Conception and Political Deception
(a very reasonable guy in my limited view).

My experience with the old non-cable networks, including working with Bob Simon and Miguel Sancho at CBS, Stone Phillips at NBC and Peter Jennings and Liz Vargas at ABC has been at the other end of the spectrum from my experience with working with one particular Fox show---the O Reilly show.

For an hour before an interview I was to do on O'Reilly at Easter time a couple of years ago, I was drilled by the producer on the cell phone about not quoting the Bible, not saying anything theological, and only answering the direct questions of O' Reilly succinctly. After listening to this lecture politely I finally asked the producer wasn't he concerned about offending his conservative Christian audience by stifling me and not really allowing me to share what I was there on the show to share about Jesus' bodily resurrection. His response was chilling-- "we are more worried about offending our secular conservative audience." I guess he assumed that conservative Christians have no other channel or programs to turn to for their information so he was less worried about offending them.

And then the interview happened. O' Reilly asked me if I had seen the Shroud of Turin. I simply said no as did the other guest, John Dominic Crossan. He then went on about having seen it. It seemed to me like the lecture I got was all about not showing up O'Reilly, and about stroking his ego, as apparently he doesn't know much of the Bible or the history of the study of the resurrection, but he had seen the Shroud in Turin.

In the old sense of the word 'liberal' as in open-minded and trying to be fair I would much prefer the 'liberal' networks to this, as they allow you to have your say. Yes, I often disagree with some of the politics and viewpoints I hear from those folks, but frankly I want a 'free' press to be 'free'-- not pre-censored like that Fox show. I want to hear a variety of points of view, and I want to make up my own mind. I frankly don't trust folks who are prepared to report false facts for the sake of their own opinions, regardless of whether I agree with some of their other views or not.

Kinda makes me wonder if what ol' Bill saw was really the Shroud of Turin or just some bedsheet someone didn't change for a long time. Unfortunately it seems to be a pattern that a lack of humility and a lack of knowledge often lead to successful stupidity.

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