Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

FNL Gets It Wrong (Again) - Twice

Reported by Nancy - December 16, 2004 -

In its ongoing campaign to try to make viewers think they're victims who are being attacked from all sides, FNL today (12/16) went over the top, distorting one story (Dan Springer) & misrepresenting the ACLU in an editorial (David Asman).

At 12:46pm (ET) Dan Spring reported on a story that FNL had run multiple teasers about all morning -- a WA ruling that "parents don't have a right to eavesdrop". He included clips from an attorney & remarks from 2 parents who claim they "saved" their children by eavesdropping.

Comment: Springer got it wrong. According to The Seattle Times, the court reversed a robbery conviction of a man who was found guilty of snatching the purse of an elderly woman when he was 17 years old. He was found guilty based on testimony from a mother who had listened in on her teenage daughter's telephone conversation with him. The court found that the action violated the state's privacy act, which says that no one can intercept or record private electronic communications without getting the consent of all participants. Parents, the law says, are not exempt. FNL has tried to frame this ruling as an assault on a parent's right to eavesdrop on his or her child's conversations. The central issue, however, is not one of children's privacy but of what evidence is admissible in court. The police had gone to the girl's mother & asked her to keep her eyes open for evidence. The mother then listened in on the conversation & recorded what was said. The evidence was obtained in violation of the state's privacy law, so it wasn't admissable.

At 12:57pm (ET), following a biased teaser ("Is there a campaign against Christianity going on in this country?"), Asman delivered his daily rant called the "Asman Observer". Claiming that "conservative Christians scare the hell our of Gary Will", he read a few lines from Will's recent op-ed piece in the New York Times. Then he stated that Christianity is being banned from town squares around the country, using as an example Toledo, OH, where (according to him) "officials pulled the plug on a Christian rock band" by cancelling a concert. He also said everyone knows about "the ACLU's campaign against Christian symbols"

Comment: Let's just address the last of Asman's many errors. In 2002, the ACLU fought for a student in IA to be allowed to distribute Christian literature at school. In 2003, the ACLU defended a student in MA, who was being punished for distributing candy canes with religious messages. In May 2004, the ACLU reached a settlement on behalf of a MI valedictorian who had been told that she could not express religious feelings on her yearbook page. The ACLU website has many more examples of the ACLU *defending* the right of each & every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all.