Sunday, June 11, 2006

MSM's Godly Illiteracy

One of the more amusing aspects of watching the steady and sure decline of the mainstream media (MSM) such as ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, most major city newspapers and CNN among others, is to see how despite their obvious desire for improved ratings and publication, they struggle with connecting to regular people (the ones they privately decry as living in ‘flyover country’). Reading the liberal blogs one can easily see why the contributors to these outlets demonstrate the lack of connection between regular Americans, and the mainstream media, who’s worldview and narrative are more closely aligned with these bloggers than that of middle America.

An object lesson in the hot button issues that unite the MSM with their liberal blogging colleagues can be seen in the response to the Ann Coulter book “Godless” – which despite Ms. Coulter’s consistent over-the-top rhetoric, aptly captures the malaise of those on the left and their mouthpieces in the MSM. These groups are at minimum illiterate and at worst hostile when it comes to the honoring of God and the worship or reverence of Him as Master and Lord of all that is creation. This to me is the primary reason for the disconnect between the MSM and their ever shrinking audience. Have you ever seen an ABC or NBC anchor or reporter in non-scripted on-air conversation make deference to God during an interview or in verbal byplay with their fellow colleagues? They simply don’t know how to do it. On top of that, they don’t even want to do it! This “godless” persona is not lost on the people in regular communities all across America. Sure the masses in the large liberal cities clustered in the northeast and on the coasts welcome this absence of “religiosity”, but unfortunately for the MSM there is not enough of them to make you a ratings winner. If you’ve read any of my posts, I consistently call attention to the lack of true and consistent worship on the part of most Americans, their stated belief in God notwithstanding, however by and large, regular Americans not only believe steadfastly in God, they are also very suspicious of those (such as the MSM) who are willingly ignorant or open hostile to the God who people know instinctively is their Creator and who controls the whole world.

The biggest and most amusing aspect of the MSM decline is that it has largely come at the hands of “alternative” media (conservative talk-radio, Fox News etc.) who are far more natural in infusing the deference to God in their own narrative. I was watching “Fox News Live Weekend” this morning, and during an interview with a little girl and her mother, the host (Julian Phillips) concluded his interview by saying “God bless you” several times as a closing salutation to the guests. As normal as that may sound to those who live in “flyover country”, it probably borders on abhorrence to those in the liberal enclaves and would probably be perceived as a foreign language to the anchors on the Today Show, Good Morning America or the CBS Early Show. In the world of these MSM, “religion” is “private”...never to be uttered outside of the pews of the churches. I wonder how God’s Great Commission works in that environment: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you... (Matthew 28:16-20 NIV). One sure way to fail at going out and making disciples of all nations, is to be private about your "religion" and never incorporating it in public living.

The MSM and their liberal blogging colleagues especially lament and lambast Fox News for what they consider pandering to the religious right. Is Fox pandering or are they in fact infusing their on-air talent with people who are similar to the regular folks, at ease within their skin in wishing others a simple “God Bless” when passing each other in the supermarket? I suspect the latter. As such, it is quite normal to expect that the regular folks will gravitate natural to Fox and by extension away from the CNNs and MSNBCs of the world. The interesting thing to watch , is whether the MSM will give in to their natural impulses for revenue and try to mimic the formula of Fox or will their aversion to all things religious cause them to seek other alternatives and run the risk of further eroding ratings? So far it seems that they are choosing the latter, and predictably their slide continues.

One of the things about true worship of God, is that it cannot be contrived, packaged and marketed (modern American style). The consistency and omnipresence of the media causes minimal rest from “presenting the package”, so as a result, a contrived biblical persona would wear thin eventually if for no other reason than it would be hard to always maintain appearances. Ironically, it is somewhat easier for some smarmy televangelist to uphold appearances while milking the populace of their bank accounts, because he only has to turn it on when the cameras are rolling or every Sunday morning for a few hours. The MSM have stories to cover each day, and godly hypocrisy should they attempt that, would surly present itself to the devout sooner or later.

Jesus, as the Bible predicted, is the ultimate stumbling block to those on the left, on the liberal blogs and in the MSM. The following passage of scripture captures this in essence: Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. (1 Corinthians 1:20-25 NIV) To those in the MSM, Fox News’ utterance of “God bless you” to that little girl is seen as “foolishness”. The passage of scripture goes on to say: Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NIV) Boasting is something that the media does very well. It is a staple of their strategy to market their product. It is also a mantra of today's “look at me” generation. However, it is instructive here that the Bible says "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." Unfortunately for the MSM, you can’t boast in the Lord if you do not want to present the Lord.

The scripture continues...When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV) You see most of those who work in the media were cultured in the godless institutions of higher learning – many via the schools in the Ivy Leagues. By and large, they worship their “wisdom”, their “learning” their “scholarship”. It permeates from them as the preen with self assurance while they talk at you from their anchor desks or from some exotic locale in far flung places (“where in the world is Matt Lauer?”) However God says that He did not come in eloquence but in fear and humility. Christ lived in deference to God the Father. If it was good enough for Christ, should it not be good enough for us? Who is heaven’s name are we? Does an Ivy League degree or an anchor desk on the CBS Evening News give one license to be hostile to the same God whom Christ Himself worshipped on earth? Oh…that’s right not everyone believes in this so-called Christ. However, it seems that enough people do, as they continue to tune out the mainstream media in ever increasing numbers. May God bless them all.


Ed Darrell said...

I have many friends and good acquaintances in "mainstream media." None of them has ever referred to any part of America as "flyover country," and many of them were born and educated in those areas. Tom Brokaw, for example, came out of South Dakota, where he still finances good works and business deals. Many more of them spent considerable time reporting solidly from the area you denigrate as "flyover." For example, Molly Ivins for years covered the Intermountain West for the New York Times, often better than some of the local Rocky Mountain papers.

So, do you have any real evidence that real, solid reporters denigrate the heartland, or is that just a baseless, inaccurate canard on your part?

Peter Shaw said...

Hi Ed,

Nice to hear from you again. And yes..."flyover country" it is a term that I have heard used more than once...however that aside, since you brought up Tom Brokaw, I happen to see a documentary he did on Bible believing churches a few months back, and here is how one website described Mr. Brokaw's reporting: In an in-depth NBC "Dateline" tonight (8 p.m. ET, NBC), Tom Brokaw ventures to New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, to explore evangelical Christians and their societal impact...rather like a "National Geographic" reporter exploring a lost tribe in a newly discovered Pacific archipelago, Brokaw tries to dissect these mysterious people who, "believe the Bible is the word of God, salvation comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and that Christians should share their faith with others." At times he seems bewildered by this group of people...Feel free to read the rest of the article -

A God who sends people to Hell?