Where principles are masked as propaganda

The nomination of noted evangelical C. Everett Koop to be U.S. Surgeon General has revealed what I like to call “the myth of neutrality” in this nation’s news reporting. Rather than being neutral, many influential publishers and broadcasters adhere to a strongly liberal consensus.

To support this contention, we must begin with the film series. Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, which featured Koop and theologian Francis Schaeffer as narrators (CT. Aug. 17, 1979, and Jan. 23, 1981). Before the televised version was aired in Washington, word got around that the program would have major exposure in the D.C. area. There was an immediate, shrill reaction from proabortionists. They tried in every way possible to stop the telecast of the film, which takes the opposing abortion position. Letters were sent to the proabortionists’ mailing lists, urging people to bombard Channel 7 with calls and letters demanding that the program not be shown, and the film was castigated as “propaganda.” Even the ethics of Channel 7 were questioned because of the station’s willingness to show the program. One letter also said the main objection to the show was that the prochoice (i.e., for abortion) side did not have programming to match Whatever Happened to the Human Race? This, in fact, seemed to be the chief objection.

In spite of the attempt to block the program, it was aired. The headline on Judy Mann’s review in the Washington Post summed up her point of view: “No Matter How Moving, Show Still Propaganda.” The review—basically a parroting of letters from the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights and other proabortion organizations, and restatement of their objections—began. “Score a resounding ten points ...

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