- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 25, 2000

The centrist left

"Media coverage constantly dissects the passionate conservative base of the Republican Party, while it almost completely ignores the equally fervent liberal base of the Democrats. Look no further than the 2000 primaries, where George W. Bush was allegedly damaged by courting the 'far right' while Al Gore was endorsed by gay and pro-abortion groups without any mention of a 'far left' base… .

"In 1992, the Media Research Center found that Democrats in New York were dubbed moderates or conservatives more often than liberals by a margin of 51-38. Furthermore, reporters didn't once label Gov. Bill Clinton or Sen. Al Gore as liberals. Not once did the networks describe the Democratic platform which endorsed abortion on demand, homosexual rights, and at least $150 billion in tax increases as liberal. Instead, they echoed the words of Richard Threlkeld of CBS: 'Both Gore and Clinton are centrist, some would say conservative.' "

Tim Graham in "Lights, Camera, Bias" in the July issue of Citizen

Inappropriate belief?

"You might not believe it if you've flipped channels lately, but TV networks really do want to protect you from inappropriate programming. Case in point: In May, CBS refused to let the Christian Web site iBelieve.com advertise on their two-part miniseries 'Jesus,' offering the novel explanation that the spots which included cuts of Christian music 'related too closely to the content of the programming.'

"As a CBS press release explained, the network was worried that its discerning viewers might be confused into thinking the ads were part of the program, or (worse) vice versa that 'Jesus' would lead people to actually believe in its namesake. Perish the thought, said CBS. We cherish 'our diverse audience' and wouldn't want to offend 'people who will watch the special because it is entertainment programming and not … for religious reasons.'

"The iBelieve people say they offered to modify their spots, cutting back on the Christian lyrics, but CBS wouldn't budge. Local affiliates, however, were another story: Nearly 100 of them wanted in on the ad package, which ended up airing in major markets like Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Boston … about 28 percent of the population. We'll agree the network's fears were justified if they're flooded with letters raving about their religious special, iBelieve.com."

from "TV show? Web site? Who can tell?" in the July issue of Citizen

'Voice of Warning'

"[Thomas] Jefferson ran [for president] on a small-government platform that resonated with American voters… .

"Jefferson's opponents were suspicious. One sharp attack on Jefferson came in September 1800, in a pamphlet written by Rev. John Mason of New York and entitled 'The Voice of Warning to Christians, on the Ensuing Election of a President of the United States.' … Jefferson, Mason wrote, denied the divinity of Christ and intended to grasp power as the French revolutionaries had. He predicted that Jefferson would use federal authority to hinder churches in large and small ways.

"President Jefferson, however, wooed his Christian opponents through several small but symbolic public-policy actions. He authored a plan of education for District of Columbia schools and included as reading texts parts of the Bible. He signed treaties with the Kaskasia, Wyandotte, and Cherokee tribes that included the provision of federal money to build churches and support clergymen… .

"Jefferson even showed up at services held almost every Sunday in … the House of Representatives, with the chaplain or some visiting minister in charge."

Marvin Olasky, writing on "Placating the religious right," in the July 29 issue of World

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