Cal Thomas Pimps Religious Right Talking Points On A Show About News Bias?
Reported by Priscilla - August 25, 2008 -
Not surprising that Cal Thomas, a regular on the Fox News Watch show, wears his bias on his sleeve; as that is standard Fox operating procedure. But up until recently, the biases seemed innocuous and just a product of some “old school” ways of thinking which seemed to correspond with his curmudgeon persona. He seemed to hold the journalism profession and journalistic professional standards in high regard and that is certainly not standard Fox operating procedure! But it seems that as the election season progresses, Thomas is less about criticizing the media and more about regurgitating Christian rightwing talking points and that makes me wonder if he’s some kind of “ringer” – just another “shout out” from Fox to its base (several meanings here) audience – just another way for Fox to say to their “Christian” followers that Fox employs one of you and all is well with the world. Some of Thomas’ recent racist commentary about “angry” black women and a homophobic article about the unfairness of a recent California court decision that ruled that doctors cannot refuse to treat gays based on religious beliefs betray a very right wing bias which makes Bill Kristol look like a commentator from Mother Jones! In a show that discusses journalistic objectivity, Thomas’ world view was front and center on last Saturday's (August 23rd) Fox News Watch.
In questioning if the media would like to see a convention battle between the Obama and Clinton factions, Moderator John Scott (I miss you Eric Burns) wondered if the Democratic Party would be fully able to control the “script” of the convention. Thomas weighed in with this bit of strangeness: “…ABC, CBS and NBC and some of the liberal cable networks (comment: you mean the networks that employ Pat Buchanan, Glenn Beck, and Lou Dobbs) which we will not mention, they will not challenge Democrats, any Democrat interviewed on the substance of their policy. For example, when the president of Planned Parenthood gets up at the rostrum here behind me, one might this week, there won't be any commentary about the 50 million babies that have died because of the policies that Planned Parenthood and Barack Obama believe in.” (Comment: Right Wing Code Red Talking Points Alert!!!!) He then went on to say that “But at the Republican convention you'll hear a different tone. What do you say to people that say you're an insensitive cur, questions like that. So there'll be a real tonal difference between the coverage of these two conventions.”
Comment: So Gloria Feldt, President of Planned Parenthood is speaking at the Convention. Why that’s enough to get the Fox “base” in a tizzy.! Hey, Cal ya think that there might be some Right to Life big whigs at the GOP convention? Hey Cal, an objective journalist, on national TV might want to rephrase the stock “baby killing” phrasing as there is no, despite what John McCain said, theological or scientific consensus out there. Objective journalism isn’t about promoting the views of Christian conservatives except on Fox. But “baby killers” does have a certain cachet. And journalistic professionals shouldn’t be making broad brush statements about “policies” that have no basis in reality other than yours. In fact, Planned Parenthood is supported on a bi-partisan basis. Oh, noooo……Thomas later said that patriotic and religious messages, done by Olympic athletes (cautioned against by IOC rules), weren’t given enough coverage by the media which, according to Thomas, “ignores religion.” (Comment: not on Fox!)
Comment: Cal Thomas, with his belief in Christian victimhood, would be perfect for the Christian broadcasting networks. In checking some of his columns, it does appear that he represents the radical Christian right. He’s certainly not in touch with mainstream America and the mainstream American journalism community. I don’t know if his presence on this show is deliberate or if he’s just Cal being Cal. But as a commentator, in a show about media biases, he has no place and brings very little to the discussion except that old time religion which Fox seems to be actively proselytizing!