Last fall, the red-state map beguiled liberal pundits who never quite came to grips with how an election like this could happen. This spring, Senate Democrats think they should obstruct federal court nominees who don’t suit them. They seem not to “get it” that America elected a Republican president and conservative majorities in two houses of Congress because the people value – among other things – judges who will not re-invent the Constitution (apparently, there’s now a handful of left-leaning Republicans who don’t get it, either).
Last week, I witnessed the Don’t Get It Syndrome firsthand.
While Americans across the country think of our National Day of Prayer as an occasion to petition a loving God to bless and guide our nation, the Detroit News this year found it an opportunity to misreport a Troy, Mich., NDP observance and to twist one of my WorldNetDaily columns in an attempt to make conservative Christians sound like religious bigots.
My encounter began on May 24 when Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, sent me an e-mail to ask if I had written a column about the National Day of Prayer controversy in Troy. Not only did I not write an article, I did not even know there was a National Day of Prayer controversy in Troy, Mich.
To explain his reason for asking, Glenn told me that Laura Berman, a liberal Detroit News columnist, had “quoted” me regarding the brouhaha over whether or not Troy organizers for the National Day of Prayer could hold their observance on the steps of City Hall. How dandy. I was quoted on an issue about which I had written nothing and that I didn’t even know was an issue. To make matters worse, the false attribution was intended to make my friends at the American Family Association look bad.
A quick review of Laura Berman’s columns reveals her habit of attacking Christians. Gary Glenn also documented her attitude in an article he wrote in 2000 after Berman allegedly told him in a phone conversation that “Christians are more fun to beat up on than homosexuals.”
While the purpose of Berman’s May 24 column was ostensibly to denounce attempts to censure the mayor and a city councilwoman for the Troy hullabaloo, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to malign the organizers. In her wind-up to misquoting me, Berman wrote:
You may recall that the National Day of Prayer caused a ruckus in Troy earlier this month. It brought out all the usual suspects from the “Judeo-Christian” organizers, who managed to alienate the only rabbi in Troy, leaving the Christian group to pray in the Judeo-Christian tradition with no actual Jews present.
How odd, this assertion there were “no actual Jews present.” Berman’s own paper, on the day her column was printed, carried a picture of participants in Troy’s National Day of Prayer event with this caption: “Susan Bevilacqua of Lake Orion, Robin Barton of Sterling Heights and Rabbi Mark Kinzer of Ann Arbor pray May 5 in Troy.”
Although I don’t know Mark Kinzer, I find it hard to believe that someone whose name can be prefixed by the word “rabbi” is not an “actual Jew.” Undeterred by facts, though, Berman goes on to say the event “brought out ‘the tolerance mongers’ – as the American Family Association described the Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and other religious leaders who alienated the Christian group by seeking an ecumenical approach.”
This is the alleged “quote” Gary Glenn brought to my attention – but only after asking Ms. Berman where she’d come by it. When, he wondered, had anyone with AFA of Michigan or the national AFA headquarters in Tupelo, Miss., referred to “Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and other religious leaders” in Troy as “tolerance mongers”? In an e-mail to Glenn, Berman said she found the phrase through a link on the AFA website to a WorldNetDaily column by yours truly.
While the AFA website linked to my article, the column was distributed by WorldNetDaily.com, and it never mentioned Troy, Mich., or the National Day of Prayer. Neither did it refer to “Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and other religious leaders” as “tolerance mongers.” In pushing the point, Glenn found that Ms. Berman had liked one of my phrases, “tolerance mongers” (thank you, Laura), and decided to splice it into her critique of the Troy event. The tolerance mongers to which I was referring are liberals who decide conservatives should adore beliefs they rightly repudiate. Those mongers gladly quash the values of Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians, or anyone who holds firmly to a set of convictions about what is right.
To her credit, at the close of Ms. Berman’s May 26 column, she offered a correction of her “tolerance mongers” quote (although said nothing about “no actual Jews”), and I applaud her journalistic integrity in doing so. Often, though, in liberals’ collective zeal to propagate their worldview, such honesty is not the norm. Compromised journalistic integrity, of course, saw its finest hour in Dan Rather’s swansong scandal, but the Detroit News column is a reminder that the liberal technique of twisting things they “don’t get” is everywhere.
Is it any wonder that rags like the one that carries Berman’s column watch their subscriptions decline year by year? Maybe conservatives who take the Detroit News can help its downtrend by canceling their subscriptions now that they know of their paper’s admitted affinity for beating up on Christians.
If you’ll indulge me in one more quote, you’ll see that Berman may have snidely put her finger on the cure for the Don’t Get It Syndrome – at least among liberals in print and on the air. She writes that those who lead the National Day of Prayer Campaign also “offer a catchy prayer for the media: ‘Pray for journalists to be fair and accurate.’”
I’ll join anyone in praying that we have fair and accurate journalists. However, I’m guessing the answer will not likely be a wholesale changing of liberal journalistic hearts but a changing of where people get their information. Ever heard of Fox News? WorldNetDaily? Rush Limbaugh? Michael Reagan? Sean Hannity?
Liberals claim not to get it, but the truth is, they don’t want to get it. And who can blame them? No one wants to admit other people just don’t like their ideas. Rejection is hard to take. Tom Daschle could probably explain to liberal journalists what can happen, though, if they stay in a fog about what their audience values. Unless they start to get it, they may be … well … out of a job.