The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links


Search this Site


Home


Contact


Feedback


Mailing List


Pray for Pope Francis


Scroll down for topics


100+ Important Documents in United States History


Anti-Catholicism


Apostolic Fathers of the Church


Articles Worth Your Time


 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics


Catholic Apologetics


Catholic Calendar


Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.


Catholic Perspectives


Catholic Social Teaching


Christology


Church Around the World


Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts


  Church Documents


Church History


Church Law


Church Teaching


Demonology


Doctors of the Church


Ecumenism


Eschatology

(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)


Essays on Science


Evangelization


Fathers of the Church


Free Catholic Pamphlets


 Heresies and Falsehoods


How to Vote Catholic


Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith


Links to Churches and Religions


Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television


Links to Recommended Sites


Links to Specialized Agencies


Links to specialized Catholic News services


Liturgy

General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Mariology


Marriage & the Family


Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom


Moral Theology

****

Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body


Movie Reviews (USCCB)


New Age


Occult


Parish Bulletin Inserts


Political Issues


Prayer and Devotions


Pro-Life

****

Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel

****

Help & Information for Men

****


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults


Sacraments


Scripture


Spirituality


The Golden Legend


Vatican


Vocation Links & Articles

 


What the Cardinals believe...


World Religions


Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam


John Paul II

Beatification


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration



Visits to this site

Tribune Editor Don Wycliff Condescendingly Agknowledges Pro-Gay Bias in the Tribune: Surprise, surprise...

 

7/10/2004 10:18:00 AM by Illinois Family Institute - Peter LaBarbera

 

CCI NOTES: Many Chicagoans recall the Chicago Tribune as paper that stood for rock-ribbed conservatism, natural law and traditional moral values. This bedrock was steadily eroded during the 1970's by recently deceased Clayton Kirkpatrick, who privately used to boast of how he had successfully purged the paper of conservatives steadily replacing them over the years with sufficiently liberal and left wing "moderates" who now control virtually all media outlets. Of course, our friend Don Wycliff couldn't be a better example. We are amused by his feigned surprise that pro-family activists aren't offering religious arguements, per se. Congrats to Peter LaBarbera and Kathy Valente for their efforts. As for the Tribune, who needs it?

 

###

 

In an email to supporters today, Illinois Family Association director Peter LaBarbera responds the Tribunes admitted pro-gay bias. The "Chicago Tribune goes part of way in acknowledging systematic media bias on the homosexual issue. Of course, this line is dripping with condescension, and ignorant of the fact that pro-fam spokesmen have been arguing FOR YEARS using practical, public policy (non-religious) arguments," said LaBarbera.

 

At the end of a recent Tribune editorial, Don Wycliff says, "After talking at some length with LaBarbera and Valente, I was surprised to discover that their arguments are not essentially religious. That is, they do not require that one accept their faith in order to believe their argument. That is a big step forward for those arguing their position. It may not, ultimately, be a convincing step, but it at least represents a recognition that in a political debate they need to speak in terms that all citizens can understand and, potentially, be convinced by."

 

Peter LaBarbera can be reached at Illinois Family Institute, www.illinoisfamily.org, 630-717-7631, c: 630-546-4439, IFI office: 630-790-8370

 

###

 

Challenging the media's `pro-gay' tenor, By Don Wycliff, Tribune Public Editor, Published July 8, 2004

 

`Given the Tribune's overwhelmingly pro-gay viewpoint, I doubt if this ... will be printed."

 

So began a letter received last month from Scott Brueggeman of Chicago, who wrote to take issue with a Commentary page article by Eugene Cullen Kennedy, a former priest and a professor of psychology emeritus at Loyola University Chicago.

 

Kennedy's article challenged the denial of Communion on Pentecost Sunday--on the orders of Cardinal Francis George--at Holy Name Cathedral to members of Rainbow Sash, an organization of Catholic homosexuals and their supporters.

 

At least insofar as this column is concerned, Brueggeman was right: His letter will not be printed here.

 

As public editor, I find the rest of his letter less interesting and provocative than the predicate: that the Tribune is "overwhelmingly pro-gay" in its viewpoint.

 

Brueggeman was not the first reader to suggest this. Beginning with the legally dubious San Francisco gay marriage stampede in February through the unquestionably legal Massachusetts nuptials in May, there had been a stream of phone calls and e-mails from readers wondering whether the play given the story in the Tribune wasn't more indicative of support for gay marriage by the paper's reporters and editors than of its importance as a news story.

 

(A story's "play" isn't entirely a matter of where it is placed in the paper, but it's a big part of it. And it's hard for me to imagine what would be more worthy of Page 1 treatment than a story involving the redefinition of human society's oldest and most basic institution.)

 

I decided last week to explore that proposition by evaluating the Tribune's coverage this year of the gay marriage issue. I plugged the words "gay marriage" into the search field of the paper's archiving system. It found 333 articles in which the term had appeared in 2004.

 

I began reading them, moving from most recent to earliest and attempting to be as critical as I could be of any deviation from standards of fairness and objectivity in descriptions of the participants and their positions.

 

About 50 stories into the exercise, a pattern was clear: In opinion articles and letters to the editor, there was a decided tilt in favor of gay marriage. But in news articles there was no discernible bias either for or against. It was very much the Joe Friday formula: "Just the facts, ma'am."

 

So does this mean that the Tribune is off the hook on this charge? Not necessarily.

 

During a conversation recently, a wise colleague observed that we mainstream journalists tend to acquit ourselves well when we have a story in front of us and have to make sure that it meets all the standard tests for fairness and impartiality. That would explain the lack of an observable tilt in our news stories.

 

Where we run into trouble is in discerning the stories that haven't yet been written, or even conceived. We have trouble seeing reality from the perspectives of those who do not fit into the newsroom "mainstream," which, according to recent surveys for the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists, is predominantly "liberal" and "moderate" and overwhelmingly convinced that homosexuality should be accepted by society.

 

It is from this inability to see from other perspectives that stems what Peter LaBarbera, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, calls "bias by omission." This bias manifests itself, he says, in the media's failure to tell what he considers interesting and convincing stories that argue against gay marriage. Stories like those of "guys who come out of the gay lifestyle" and live straight lives.

 

"There's a debate in the culture as to whether [homosexuality] deserves classification" as a protected attribute like race, LaBarbera said. But the media behave as if that debate already has been resolved. "They take a protective attitude toward homosexuality."

 

Kathy Valente, Illinois state director of Concerned Women for America, which is pushing for state and federal constitutional amendments to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, makes much the same argument as LaBarbera. "I think the media coverage in general is very, very biased, very, very slanted," she said.

 

One personal observation: After talking at some length with LaBarbera and Valente, I was surprised to discover that their arguments are not essentially religious. That is, they do not require that one accept their faith in order to believe their argument.

 

That is a big step forward for those arguing their position. It may not, ultimately, be a convincing step, but it at least represents a recognition that in a political debate they need to speak in terms that all citizens can understand and, potentially, be convinced by.

 

First, however, they need to persuade us in the media to put their arguments into the public arena.

 

###

 

Don Wycliff is the Tribune's public editor. He listens to readers' concerns and questions about the paper's coverage and writes weekly about current issues in journalism. His e-mail address is dwycliff@tribune.com. The views expressed are his own.

 

###

 

The link to the column is http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/printedition/chi-0407080270jul08,1,6783537.column but you do need a free log-in to access the page.

 

 

webmaster  www.evangelizationstation.com

Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved