Carol Platt Liebau: Agenda Journalism

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Agenda Journalism

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is refusing to expose the lies about the Foley matter being told by the Democratic candidate for Mark Kennedy's House seat (HT: Hugh Hewitt).

But they're not the only ones engaging in some agenda journalism. This story from The LA Times is a remarkable example of some anti-GOP editorializing in the guise of a news story. Apparently, its authors -- Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger -- see Republicans as irremediably homophobic (ironic under the circumstances) and are determined to make sure their readers do, too. Here are some particularly provocative samples, from a story about Kirk Fordham, a gay Republican who is Foley's former chief of staff:

For the soft-spoken Fordham, a role as a possible whistle-blower is an unfamiliar one — but it is perhaps not surprising for a longtime Republican weary of his party's anti-gay political tactics and concerned that some were planning to make him take the fall. (emphasis added).

The two [Foley and Fordham] shared something in common: Both were gay men with private struggles, trying to make their mark in a party that was anything but hospitable to homosexuals. (emphasis added).

Of course, the "journalists" don't bother to spell out exactly what makes the party so inhospitable to gays . . . presumably, it's the GOP's refusal to endorse gay marriage? In any case, not content with simply asserting that the GOP is homophobic, the story leaps into the realm of speculation:

[Flordia U.S. Senate candidate Mel] Martinez was considered a moderate, and working for him seemed a natural fit for Fordham. But that early comfortable feeling probably dissipated when Martinez campaign literature accused a challenger in the Republican primary of supporting the "radical homosexual lobby" by backing hate crimes legislation that included protections based on sexual orientation.

Interesting. The Minneapolis paper refuses to hold Democrats to account when it comes to their politicizing the Foley matter . . . and the LA paper openly uses the Foley affair as an opportunity to smear a political party as gay-hating -- even as Democrats accuse Republican leaders of having gone too easy on a gay GOP congressman.


Blogger dodger said...

I'm getting the sense that being a Republican is reprehensible. So can I accuse Democrats of being Republiphobic?

Let's see if I have the scenario correctly framed. If you go after gays you are homophobic, therefore represhensible. If you don't go after gays you are ... what?

That's what Kerry and Edwards did, gays are just being what they are, we are all God's children, except Republicans, now they are Satan's spawn, why look at Mary Cheney, she's a (gasp) lesbian, if you weren't already aware, look into my eyes, you are getting sleepy, you are floating in the air, you will soon evaporate and we will have the planet to ourselves.

Did any of that make sense? Of course not, nor does the Foley matter.

Dodger to Democrats, "Take a hike."

8:51 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

You know what I'd really be interested in knowing is how the Democrat operatives got a Warrant to view the Foley e-mails and IMs?! Clearly they weren't being sent to al-Queda. I think they violated Foley's constitutional rights. They better get the ACLU to look into that. And now they are being homophobic since the worst IMs were to a consenting 18 year old adult. Stupid is as supid does.

11:00 AM  
Blogger dreamer said...

Speaking of agenda journalism, would Fox News labelling Mark Foley as a Democrat (more than once) qualify? (Read more here)

11:27 AM  
Blogger Oliver Cromwell said...

I seem to remember not a few Republicans breathing fire and raising hell over a guy called Clinton and his shenanigans. Every day I thank god I'm not an American.

3:23 PM  

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