[Editor’s Note: This is part two of a three-part series featuring Brent Bozell of Media Research Center on the subject of Christian genocide.]
Unbeknownst to most of the Western world, Christians overseas are being slaughtered simply for being Christians. Yet as they are displaced, tortured and killed around the world, the mainstream media ignores it in favor of reporting on the evils of the Trump administration and the latest celebrity news. These are just a few of the atrocities committed in the last few months that have gone largely unmentioned in the media:
- A Christian was executed in his home by a group affiliated with Egypt’s Islamic state.
- A Somali family was gunned-down in their home for converting to Christianity.
- More than twenty-nine Christians have been slaughtered by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria This year.
Why are these targeted persecutions and more not at the forefront of U.S. news? During an interview with Liberty Nation, Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell exposed the clearly anti-Christian bias of the leftist media. The horrific treatment of Christians does not fit into the narrative of a peaceful Islam that the left wishes to perpetuate.
Mr. Bozell identified two forms of media bias: bias by commission and bias by omission. Leftist news outlets commit bias by commission when they either publish stories that directly promote their specific narrative, or when they take an existing news story and report it with a leftist slant.
A prime example of the liberal media’s bias by commission is their recent treatment of the Christian hosts of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”, Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Washington Times reported:
“Chip and Joanna Gaines’ church is firmly against same-sex marriage,” a headline from BuzzFeed news reporter Kate Aurthur read on Tuesday. “Their pastor considers homosexuality to be a ‘sin’ caused by abuse — whether Fixer Upper couple agrees is unclear.”
So essentially, Ms. Aurthur hasn’t done any reporting to know how the Gaineses actually feel about the topic, she — and BuzzFeed — just want to drum up a digital mob against the couple.
Jumping on the bandwagon, Cosmopolitan and US Weekly followed with similar articles — all citing BuzzFeed’s thoughtful journalism.
“Given the diversity of Fixer Upper’s audience, this is a startling revelation that has left many wondering where Chip and Jo stand,” Cosmopolitan wrote. It added their pastor — who the couple dare say is a friend — has made “dangerous” and “unfounded” claims against homosexuality, and called the 2015 Supreme Court decision on the matter a “biblical admonition.”
Liberal news outlets also commit bias by omission when they either refuse to adequately cover a story or even ignore it completely. This is arguably the more dangerous of the two. Americans can generally see through the leftist propaganda if they have the patience and sense to do so. However, they are denied even that chance when the media fails to deliver the news entirely.
While the leftist media outlets have granted some of these stories cursory coverage, they have not given the American people a full understanding of Christian persecution abroad. The MRC’s latest report, “Shameful Silence: ABC, CBS, And NBC Have Ignored Christian Genocide,” reveals the media’s lack of coverage.
Between April 2014 and March 2016, the network evening news shows referred to persecution against Christians in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia just 60 times. Despite telling of murders, forced religious conversions and mass displacement, the networks refused to add up the thousands of atrocities to what they clearly amount to genocide. Just six of the 60 reports used the word genocide. Put another way, over two years, they mentioned the Christian genocide on just four separate days. Even when Secretary of State John Kerry officially declared in March 2016 that ISIS was engaging in genocide, CBS didn’t report it.
Even after the Obama administration officially recognized the Christian genocide, the report shows that liberal media remained reluctant to use the word.
The six instances where the networks have used “genocide” or equivalent terms, they’ve tended to lump Christians in with Yazidis and Shia Muslims as victims, echoing the Obama administration’s reluctance to focus on the anti-Christian violence. During the two years MRC Culture analyzed, one source has recorded 226 Muslim-on-Christian attacks. At least 125 churches have been attacked. According to one Christian group, 7,000 Christians worldwide were killed because of their faith in 2015 alone. Yet even when the Obama administration has (officially and unofficially) called the Christian persecution in Iraq and Syria genocide, the networks almost never used the word.
The liberal media certainly has no qualms about using the term genocide when the situation advances their own agenda, as the report shows.
In the two years after Powell’s finding on genocide in Darfur, the networks used the term 39 times. Of course, that was during the George W. Bush Administration, when liberals were eager for clubs with which to hit Bush’s foreign policy. Furthermore, actor George Clooney led the way for a group of high- profile celebrities bringing publicity to the horror and pressure on the government.
The situation is certainly bleak for Christians overseas, as they are largely powerless in the countries that persecute them. However, there are ways to effect change. American Christians must learn that the current media environment can be used as a tool for us as well as against us. Just as the left uses the media to promote their agenda, we must use the media to raise awareness of the persecution faced by Christians world wide. As Mr. Bozell advised, if we want to see change, we must be engaged in the national conversation.