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March 6, 2005 - Fair and Balanced One More Time

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Tim Scheiderer at the Media Research Center – the organization run by L. Brent Bozell III that files ninety-eight percent of all complaints the FCC receives about bare boobs or bad words – here argues CNN is full of hate against the poor, outnumbered, loving and harmless Christians.  And Aaron Brown is a bad guy.  And CNN is actively anti-religion.


The problem?  These words - “We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think religion stops people from thinking. I think it justified crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder.”


See - CNN Anchor Helps Promote HBO’s Offensive Anti-Faith “Comedian”


Offending people is Bill Maher’s schtick, as he showed again just last week when he denounced religion — all religion — during a February 15 appearance on MSNBC: “We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think religion stops people from thinking. I think it justified crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder.”


Operating under the pretense that he offers brave, “politically incorrect” insights, Maher has been a fount of mean-spiritedness for years, such as during the 2000 election recount when he cheered the idea of murdering Katherine Harris. Liberal journalists would never tolerate such venom if it came from the lips of a conservative talk show host.


But Maher didn’t face a single hardball when he showed up on CNN’s NewsNight on Tuesday to promote the return of his weekly HBO show. Instead, anchor Aaron Brown applauded the offensive comedian (“We’re glad you’re back at work”) and commiserated with him about how hard it is to speak freely in today’s supposedly intolerant climate.


“He is a political comedian at a time when the culture itself seems to have a fair amount of trouble laughing at itself,” Brown asserted. He told Maher: “Someone suggested the other day that the only people in the country who really get to speak their minds are comedians and talk show hosts; everyone else gets trampled. That seem to make sense to you?” Does Aaron Brown feel trampled?


Maher touted his uniqueness: “I don’t think all comedians and talk show hosts speak their mind. I think it’s an even smaller club than that. We do live in much more politically correct times.” He blamed Christians: “The country has become much more conservative, partly because it’s been taken over by the religious right.”


For someone who complains about a stifling political environment, Maher has no problem attracting publicity. He’s been on NewsNight at least three other times, which puts him one ahead of another of Aaron Brown’s favorite guests: Air America radio’s Al Franken, another mean-spirited liberal.


From Rick, the News Guy in Atlanta, who was one of CNN’s first employees when it started -


God, this stuff gets much more complicated than it really needs to.


Let me cut through the muck and ask the crucial question here: Is Tim Scheiderer a Conservative?  I know his pal Brent Bozell III is, or at least I think he is.  Has anyone ever asked Brent Bozell, I wonder, if he's a Conservative?  If anyone ever were to ask these guys, and their answer were no, then I would probably be able to do a little bit of research to show, by their public statements, that they wouldn't be telling the truth.


And if their answer were yes?  Then I would say, "And so who are YOU guys to be talking about OTHER folks' biases?"  I know that I would have absolutely no idea of who Brent Bozell was or what his politics were except for the fact that he's been all over the tube for decades - all the networks, even CNN, and I'm sure Fox - and always pushing some anti-Liberal, pro-religious point-of-view.


So what I'm getting at, if it isn't obvious, is that this guy's group is prejudiced against Liberals and biased in favor of religion, particularly the Christian religion.  Which means he's hardly in the position to offer an objective view of what other people have to say about any of this stuff.  Instead of loudly proclaiming that these people are guilty of harboring prejudices, then maybe they should go back and consult with Jesus on just who it was he thought should be casting the first stone.


And that even includes criticism of what Al Franken has to say.  Franken, who "happens to be" Jewish, has had some very complimentary things to say about Jesus (even if it is mostly to make the point that Christ probably wouldn't have felt comfortable in any of this White House's bible study classes.)  So, just for the sake of balance, has anyone here ever heard either Brent Bozell III, or this Tim Scheiderer guy, say anything even vaguely critical of Jesus Christ?  No?  And these guys are trying to pass themselves off as unbiased critics of the media scene?


Now Bill Maher, of course, is another story.  He's not even a Liberal, he's a Libertarian, which means that half of us agree with half of what he says, and the other half of us agrees with the other half.  Still, when it comes to religion, I can't ever remember hearing anyone saying on CNN what Maher said here.  (Do I agree with what Maher says about religion? No, I don't, but the point here is not whether I think he's right but whether I think anyone who criticizes him for saying it is a jerk or not.)


But can anyone here ever remember hearing any guest on CNN make any remarks, either implicit or explicit, or both, that cast religion in a favorable light?  If so, how many times, tens of times?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Who knows how many times?


So if Aaron Brown were to invite Tim Scheiderer on his show, might some idiotic website publish an article under the headline, "CNN Anchor Helps Promote Offensive Pro-Faith Anti-American"?  (The "anti-American" part obviously refers to the fact that these people only want promoted those ideas they agree with, and not those they don't.)


But I'm always amazed that, for some reason, we all seem to consider the anti-Liberal/Pro-religion point of view somehow more legitimate than the pro-Liberal/so-called-"anti-religious" side?


The fact is, when it comes to the information media, these people don't believe in open markets.  They obviously don't want a "Liberal" media, nor do they want "Middle-of-the-Road" media that airs all sides; all they want is "Conservative" media.  And by the way, I don't.


So the point is, these guys have to get it through their heads that most the rest of us see right through them: They are not arguing in favor a fair and open marketplace of ideas, they are just flacking their particular set of prejudices and trying to destroy the reputation of anyone who doesn't concur in them.


I guess Rick doesn’t think CNN is guilty of trotting out one mean-spirited liberal after another to undermine the faith of American Christians.  So there really is no conspiracy to insult and shake the faith of Christians?  Bill Maher and Al Franken could shake their faith?  If so, that’s one shaky religion they’ve got there.


I don’t believe that either. 


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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