August 15, 2019

There’s a new book out called “The Faith of Mike Pence.”  If you’re interested in that subject, you have to read the book because you probably won’t find out anything reliable from the media. Coverage of Pence is sparse, and when they do write about him, it’s usually disparaging to his beliefs in ways that signal the reporter doesn’t understand or want to understand people who have religious faith.  But I’ll bet a lot of reporters and celebrities who mocked him for not being alone with women other than his wife wished they’d followed that rule, too, once the MeToo movement hit.

On the subject of reporters being clueless about people of faith, this is an interesting op-ed by former ABC news religion reporter Peggy Wehmeyer, and one that might help Democrats get elected and the media rebuild its reputation if they heeded it (I feel safe in assuming they won’t, so I can share it.)  While the writer tosses in the typical anti-Trump “war on journalism” boilerplate, if you look past that, she makes some excellent points about how out of touch with millions of Americans (particularly pro-life people of faith) that many reporters are.

I made the same points in my pre-Trump book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” particularly that in a field that’s obsessed with “diversity,” there is almost zero intellectual diversity.  For instance, Wehmeyer came from Dallas, where she covered abortion news objectively, giving a fair airing to both sides.  When she moved to ABC in New York (the late anchorman Peter Jennings actually wanted balance in religion stories), she discovered a newsroom where nobody could even conceive of the idea that anyone could be against abortion. 

When she would do a fair story about, say, Catholics who retrieved discarded fetuses from abortion clinics and gave them baptisms, she says producers would demand, “Are you making this up?” and “Where do you FIND these people?” 

Outside of newsrooms in New York, obviously. 

Again, if you look past the kneejerk Trump demonization, the article sort of makes his point about the blindly one-sided media and the self-destructive echo chamber that caused Hillary to think she could win an election even after insulting millions of voters to their faces – because, hey, doesn’t “everybody” agree with her?  Well, her friends, staff and every one covering her did. 

That’s the Democrats’ problem, and the media’s, as well. Republicans get frustrated with the liberal media that spin every story as positive for the left and negative for the right.  But that bias might be harming the left more than helping.  By now, the only people who still trust the media are on the left.  And you know what happens to people who believe their own publicity.   


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