A Big Media suicide pact?

Cal Thomas's picture

Is there a profit-making business — other than TV networks and The New York Times — that so disrespects its audience it works overtime to offend them?

What other business metaphorically flips the bird to those who don’t subscribe to their social, cultural and political worldview? That is precisely what big media does to a large number of potential viewers and subscribers.

Three recent examples: 1) The inexplicable editing of the Pledge of Allegiance during the opening of the June 19 U.S. Open on NBC; 2) the naming of ultra-liberal Norah O’Donnell of MSNBC as CBS News’ new chief White House correspondent, in time for the 2012 election; and 3) last Sunday’s New York Times, which appeared to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Washington Blade, a leading newspaper for the LGBT community.

Let’s take them one at a time.

Someone had to decide that “under God” and “indivisible” were extraneous and needed to be cut from the U.S. Open’s patriotic montage. Who was that person? What are his/her ideological and religious beliefs? What editor or manager decided it was OK to air the edited Pledge of Allegiance? Didn’t anyone at NBC, which later apologized on air to “those of you who were offended by it,” anticipate the reaction? Will heads roll?

Probably not. Compare this to comedian Tracy Morgan’s crude remarks about gay people in a stand-up act not aired on NBC. His colleagues roundly denounced him and Tina Fey, creator/star of NBC’s “30 Rock,” suggested that without his gay and lesbian co-workers, Morgan “would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on ... or a printed paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket.” Morgan is now on the groveling tour, seeking absolution from gay rights activists.

Norah O’Donnell has been an Obama cheerleader on MSNBC. When Newt Gingrich suggested the president plays too much basketball and should concentrate on more important things, O’Donnell intimated there might be racist overtones because “it suggests that the president is an athlete and some people may suggest, you know, because all black people are good athletes.”

All black people? Isn’t that racist? Some people may suggest? That’s a not-so-clever way journalists have of inserting their own opinions into a story or line of questioning. For many more examples of O’Donnell’s liberalism, visit newsbusters.org and search Norah O’Donnell. It doesn’t appear likely O’Donnell will put her views on hold while reporting on the president’s policies and his re-election campaign.

The June 19 New York Times (Father’s Day) engaged in blatant cheerleading for the gay rights agenda. It began with a front-page story titled “For President, Gay Marriage Views Evolve.” You know where his “evolution” is headed. The president wants and needs money from that lobbying group.

The cover of The New York Times Magazine featured “A Good Life in the Closet? Challenging the Orthodoxy of Coming Out.”

And then, just in case readers were still unclear about the Times’ editorial position on the issue, three full pages in the New York section were devoted to a story headlined, “And Baby Makes Four: How A Woman, Her Son, Her Sperm Donor And His Lover Are Helping Redefine The American Family.” This may be how liberal New York and The New York Times see the American family, but most American families don’t.

Reading this brought me as close as I have ever come to canceling my subscription, but I decided against it. I have to know what the culturally depraved are thinking.

Inserted in the newspaper was a “Dear Reader” letter from outgoing Executive Editor Bill Keller and Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal. It announced “new features and a new way of presenting our finest analytical and opinion writing.”

It may be a “new way,” but the content will remain the same and come from the same ideological perspective. At none of the big networks or at The New York Times is there a recognized conservative or traditional values commentator. It is why these entities are losing readers and viewers, though they don’t seem to care. Their ideology trumps their business sense. Meanwhile, the rise of alternative media makes them increasingly irrelevant.

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com.] ©2011 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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