For quite some time now, CNN, the cable news network founded by Ted Turner, has witnessed a startling ratings plummet. At the same time, the FOX News Network has seen its ratings experience an expansion.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
You see, FOX News has gone out of its way to employ a staff of hosts, commentators and reporters that represent a large part of the political spectrum. Influential conservatives like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly have places of prominence on the network. The FOX agenda appears to be one of providing equal time to those with countering political doctrines — conservative, liberal and those in between.
CNN, on the other hand, seems to have a remarkably different agenda. And with Ted Turner’s recent repugnant comments directed at his observant Catholic employees, it isn’t far-fetched to believe that Mr. Turner and his network have a disdain for Christian ideals.
Mr. Turner’s comments were made on Ash Wednesday at CNN’s Washington bureau. When he noticed that several CNN employees had received ashes on their foreheads in commemoration of the Catholic holy day, he exclaimed, “What are you, a bunch of Jesus freaks?”
As you might guess, the insult shocked and bewildered the employees, who had reportedly gathered for a party to honor the network’s retiring anchorman Bernard Shaw.
But Mr. Turner wasn’t finished. He had yet another caustic remark to hurl at his observant Catholic employees, suggesting that they “ought to be working at Fox” — the very same network that has attracted many of CNN’s viewers.
Reacting to Turner’s bigoted remark, Catholic League President William Donohue noted: “Ted Turner is a recidivist. Like all repeat offenders, Turner evinces an animus against a particular portion of the population. For him, it is Christians whom he despises.” (Mr. Donohue has been a valiant warrior in battling media hostilities aimed at conservative people of faith.)
And now we learn that Mr. Turner’s cruel and insensitive remarks have spurred CNN newsman Stuart Varney, who has been with the network for more than two decades, to resign. Mr. Varney, who co-anchors CNN’s “Moneyline News Hour,” “resigned in a huff” after learning of Mr. Turner’s outrageous remarks, the “New York Daily News” reported. The 51-year-old Varney, a devout Christian, had also reportedly complained that CNN had slanted its political coverage toward Democratic party positions.
Mr. Varney’s action is the ultimate act of courage, in my opinion. When a man will make such a colossal sacrifice in order to take a stand for his beliefs, he earns the respect of millions of people of faith. (Who knows? Maybe Mr. Varney will find an even greater role to play at FOX News.)
The truth is that conservative people of faith face this type of discriminatory media harassment on a regular basis. On an almost nightly basis, network sitcoms and dramas portray conservative Catholics and evangelicals as buffoons and hateful idiots. At the same time, homosexuals and people who embrace “inclusive” new-age religious philosophies are portrayed as sensitive and compassionate — often while conservative Christians badger and persecute them.
I’m proud to be a “Jesus freak,” but I am sick and tired of people like Ted Turner and other network executives ridiculing and mocking us and paying no price for their hate-filled attacks.
My “Old Time Gospel Hour” broadcast debuts this Sunday, March 18, on TNN (The National Network, formerly The Nashville Network) and is carried by virtually every cable company in the U.S. and Canada. I am very excited about the opportunity to dispense the Gospel in this new venue. I encourage old friends and new friends to join us for this hour of special music, praise and worship, and preaching. The times for the broadcast are:
- 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time and Pacific Time
- 8:00 a.m. Mountain Time
- 6:00 a.m. Central Time