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Washington Post And Readers Seize Opportunity to Show Their Colors

A Washington Post headline, on March 3, 2011, read “Frederick official’s comment that a woman’s place is in the home creates uproar.” I read the article, and some of the hundreds of comments on the article. What I found, and what I did not find, was very interesting. What I found was a lot of name calling (“hate speech” as the left likes to call it) directed towards Frederick County Commissioners Paul Smith and Kirby Delauter. But what I did not find was the quote from the Frederick officials where they said a woman’s place is in the home, nor exactly what Smith and Delauter said to set off the so-called controversy.

According to the Post, Mr. Smith “told a TV station and intimated at a public hearing before voting to slash half the funding for the county’s Head Start program, [that] a woman’s place is in the home” (emphasis added). So in stead of relying what what a Washington Post reporter thinks Mr. Smith implied, I decided to see what he told the TV station and I also dug up the transcript from the public hearing on Head Start to read exactly what Smith and Delauter said that started this uproar. I hope you find this as enlightening as I did.

Public Hearing on Head Start

According to the Frederick News Post, this is what Paul Smith said in a February 8, 2011 Commissioner’s meeting:

“I am very sensitive to the importance of the 3- and 4-year-old age for children … and there’s no question that our community needs to continue to be committed in this area and watch out for and help the families. I think it’s … very significant that we did make this … marriage week announcement today because that is the best long-term … way to help our children, as marriage is strengthened in our community … because, I mean, I know — as many of you know — I had a lot of kids … and my wife stayed home — a significant sacrifice — during those early years, because she knew she had to be with those kids at that critical age, and I know everybody isn’t able to survive doing that, but clearly … as we can strengthen marriage we can decrease the children that we [the governement] have to reach, and I think the best approach … ultimately, will be through the private sector, churches.”

Mr. Smith went on to talk about the electoral mandate from the fall of 2010 to get spending under control and to not raise taxes. He further talked about the need for the public to wean themselves from entitlement programs like Head Start and the need for families, churches, and the private sector to step up in their place. Read the full transcript from Feb. 8 Commissioner’s meeting on the Frederick News Post website. Mr. Delauter  agreed with Mr. Smith and added:

“I do think the private sector’s got to take up some of the slack. We … ran on the platform like Commissioner Smith said: no new taxes, no tax increases. That was a mandate. … We’ve been very clear that we take that seriously. Again, my wife, college-educated, could go out and get a very good job. She gave that up for 18 years so she could stay home with our kids. We gave up a lot to do that. … I agree again with Commissioner Smith: The marriage thing is very important. I mean, the education of your kids starts at home, OK. I never relied on anyone else to guarantee the education of my kids. … So, again, the (Head Start) program’s not going away. Will it be affected? That’s possible. Will the quality be affected? That’s possible, but with the budget that we’ve been dealt — and we knew that coming in; that’s what we ran on; that’s what we talked about all through the campaign — but the cards we’ve been dealt — we have to deal with that, and raising taxes on people that don’t have work is not an option. So we’ve got to start living more within our means.”

Nothing from Smith and Delauter’s seems as incendiary as The Washington Post makes it out to seem. And in fact, the bulk of Smith and Delauter’s comments were regarding fiscal responsibility, rather than women’s, mother’s, and family responsibilities. One thing is clear though, contrary to the Post’s assertion, Mr. Smith never said a woman’s place is in the home. According to ABC 7 News in the Washington D.C. area, Mr. Smith did say that a mother’s primary responsibility is the care and nurture of her children (see ABC 7’s video: Comments spark vigil in Frederick.) But, perhaps this distinction between a woman’s role and a mother’s role will do little to appease Mr. Smith’s detractors.

More Common Ground Than You Think

Few people would disagree that stronger marriages and families is one of the best thing we can do for children. Few people would disagree that a mother of small children has as her first and primary responsibility to care for those kids and provide the best home life possible. And I hope there would not be many people that would argue with the premise that a child’s mother, without discounting the role of the father, is the ideal person to provide that love, nurture, and education early in life. Of course that ideal will not always be achieved, due to various circumstances in life, but just because the ideal cannot always be achieved doesn’t change the fact that it is ideal.

Washington Post and Readers Show Their True Colors

Of course, rather than focusing on this common ground, the Washington Post and ABC 7, for the sake of sensational news and perhaps due to other motives, have portrayed the comments of Mr. Smith and Mr. Delauter as incendiary and provocative. Instead of quoting Mr. Smith and giving the story proper context, the Washington Post intimates and implies things that aren’t true in order to satisfy their own agenda, which appears to be to portray Republicans and Christians as backwards and evil.

Well, based on the comments of the Washington Post readership (below), to a large extent, they have succeeded. But in the process, the Post and their friends on the liberal left, have shown their true colors. They are deceptive, mean-spirited, and intolerant of other people’s views. Here is a sampling of the things Washington Post readers are saying about Smith and Delauter. They…

  • Want women to be “household slaves”
  • Want “Sharia Law in the USA”
  • Are “like the Taliban”
  • “Should be put into a home”
  • “Pretend to be pro-family”
  • Are “anti-education”
  • Want a “theocracy like Iran”
  • Are “un-Christian”
  • “Never had to struggle for anything”
  • Should “leave the religion at home”
  • “Don’t belong holding public office”
  • Are “trashy”, “stupid”, “Rednecks”, “idiots”, “Crackpots”, “schmucks”, “morons”, “religious nutcakes”, “fools”, “religious extremists”, and “ignorant.”

All this comes from the kind-hearted, always tolerant left-wing liberals in this country. Perhaps with this additional light shed on subject, those people will reach out and apologize to Mr. Smith and Mr. Delauter. But I’m not holding my breath.

Media Bias in Presidential Election

The extreme media bias in favor of Barack Obama was no surprise to me or the 70 percent of voters that also said it was obvious that the press wanted Mr. Obama to win the White House. What is a little surprising is that The Washington Post’s ombudsman, Deborah Howell, came out and admitted it and even offered evidence of an “Obama tilt” in her own newspaper. Washington Post Op Eds (Opinion Editorials) heavily favored Obama by a 71% to 29% margin. Obama-related articles dominated the newspaper in a 55% to 45% margin over McCain, and that doesn’t even account for whether or not those article were favorable or not to the candidates.

On that subject, whether or not the ‘objective’ news articles were positive or negative to the candidates, I turn to Glenn Beck. You can watch/listen to his series on Youtube; just search for Glenn Beck Battle of the News Headlines. What Glenn found, and again this is no surprise to most of us, was that most of the news articles were positive for Obama and negative for McCain.

The news coverage during this election cycle was so heavily slanted in favor of Obama that even the left-leaning Saturday Night Live had to make fun of it, as seen in the video clip below.

Admittedly Conservative Talk Radio is More Fair than So-Called Unbiased Main Stream Media

I recently read a very interesting study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard University called A First Look at Coverage of the 2008 Presidential Campaign. The study looked at the political leanings of different media outlets including Network Television, Cable News, Internet, Talk Radio and Newspapers.

Here are some of their overall findings:

  • “A new poll by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press conducted for this report finds that about eight-in-ten of Americans say they want more coverage of the candidates’ stances on issues
  • Yet, “just 1% of stories examined the candidates’ records or past public performance, the study found”
  • “Just 12% of stories examined were presented in a way that explained how citizens might be affected by the election, while nearly nine-out-of-ten stories (86%) focused on matters that largely impacted only the parties and the candidates.”
  • “Democrats generally got more coverage than Republicans, (49% of stories vs. 31%.)”
  • “Overall, Democrats also have received more positive coverage than Republicans (35% of stories vs. 26%),”
  • “Republicans received more negative coverage than Democrats (35% vs. 26%).”Now, taking the data in this study, I did my own analysis and the findings were quite informative. Just take a look at the chart below.

  • Coverage of Republicans is slanted to the negative in every outlet except talk radio and NPR.
  • Coverage of Democrats is slanted to positive in every outlet except PBS and talk radio.
  • Talk radio gives Republicans the fairest treatment of all outlets with roughly equal positive and negative stories.
  • Cable news give Democrats the fairest treatment though they still favor slightly more positive than negative stories.
  • NPR tends to lean toward positive stories for both Republicans and Democrats, but of their negative stories, Republicans get the greater share
  • Newspapers and Network TV News lean heavily to the left, reporting mostly positive about Democrats and mostly negative about Republicans
  • The most amazing thing about this study is how it shows that Talk Radio, which openly admits to lean Conservative/Republican, is much more fair in their reporting than other media sources which claim to be unbiased.