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Well, no word yet from the Washington Post’s E.R. Shipp, who defamed
me in a column last Sunday.
Maybe it’s because I offended her by assuming E.R. Shipp is a man in
my column yesterday.
So sorry, E.R. But given that the politically correct Washington Post
refers to you as the “ombudsMAN,” I thought for sure you were of the
male sexual orientation. I hope this oversight doesn’t come between a
face-to-face debate over the journalistic standards and practices of the
Big Media. I’m sure, given your lofty title and position at the
Washington Post, you would have no problem commanding radio and
television appearances for this important public policy dialogue between
you and me.
I would also like to use this opportunity to solicit a public apology
from you for linking me — someone you obviously know nothing about —
to Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. If such a public retraction is not
forthcoming on a goodwill basis, I can assure you that you and your
newspaper will be hearing from my attorney shortly.
Shipp’s piece is interesting in its absurdity in so many ways, it
warrants more comment. It’s illustrative of so much of what’s wrong with
the establishment press today.
I note that Shipp underlines the fact that “Arkansas authorities have
not characterized the Dirkhising death as a hate crime.” I have noted
frequently in this column that one of the primary problems with the
establishment press today is that it works hand in hand with government
authorities — often bowing to the agenda of officials, rather than
questioning everything they do. Questioning authority is the primary
role of a free press in a free society. People like Shipp have forgotten
that fact — if they ever understood it at all.
But what really gripes me is the way Ms. Shipp rationalizes the
sensationalizing of one sensational murder and the ignoring of another.
No one, to my knowledge, and certainly not I, had criticized the
Washington Post by name for its lack of coverage of the Jesse Dirkhising
murder. Nevertheless, Shipp felt it necessary to defend “non-coverage”
of the story and attack the person most responsible for bringing the
story to the nation’s attention — even to her attention.
She does this by impugning my motives and attempting to discredit me
with a non-existent but implied association to Duke. Since when does a
desire for balanced news coverage equate with being hostile to
Shipp asserts that the Matthew Shepard story was worthy of extensive
coverage because it “had spread around the world.” How did that happen
without the extensive coverage? Are newsmen psychic today? Can they
predict with 100 percent accuracy which stories are going to strike the
public’s fancy? The story did not spread on its own. The Post coverage
was a big part of how it spread.
The lesson of this Post diatribe is this: Dare to point out the way
the establishment press employs double standards by ignoring the
Dirkhising murder and other disturbing stories that don’t fit neatly
into the “hate crime” mindset, and you risk being characterized as a
racist homophobe — a David Duke associate.
Essentially, Shipp asserts that the murder of homosexuals “raises a
issue” while murder of children by homosexuals is “routine.” Whatever
happened to the good, old days of journalism when the press reported the
facts and let you decide what to make of them? In the Post’s world of
unreality, homosexuals simply do not kill children. Let’s face it. If
the major media ignore a story of this magnitude, it simply didn’t
happen for most Americans.
In the Post’s eyes, homosexuals are always victims or heroes. There
is no other way to portray them without being “insensitive” and
homophobic. But what does such a standard have to do with reporting
There’s a huge push within the establishment press today for
“diversity.” Only if your editorial staff contains an appropriate number
of blacks, homosexuals, women, etc., can your news organization properly
cover the world, imply advocates of such standards. But such a standard
pre-supposes that blacks, homosexuals and women all think alike — or at
least differently than white men. Nonsense. The only kind of diversity
that is meaningful to balanced and thoughtful news coverage is diversity
of philosophy, diversity of opinion, diversity in thought.
That kind of diversity is obviously not present in the news
department of the Washington Post. And, it seems, E.R. Shipp and company
are hypersensitive and more than a little defensive about that