Would you be surprised to hear that the mainstream media hasn’t been telling you the whole story? Probably not. The failings of the media has been a perennial story since 131 BC when the first newspaper, Acta Diurna, was published in Rome.
But sometimes the media’s biases lead them to make claims that are especially egregious and harmful to the common good. Such is the case on the reporting of an amendment relating to the free exercise of religion in Arizona. Critics of the bill described it as an anti-gay bill and claimed it would be used to deny access to public accommodations for homosexuals. As the Christian Post noted, almost every media organization in the country, including the more conservative Fox News, have taken the side of the critics by describing S.B. 1062 as a “gay discrimination” bill.
Because of this biased (bordering on fraudulent) reporting, the media was able to sway public opinion on the issue, which pressured Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the amendment.
Fortunately, we live in an age when the mainstream media is losing its stranglehold on the public’s attention. Several outlets have explained the true substance of the amendment and exposed the mendacity of the media. If you want to learn the truth, here are a few places to start:
Dumb, Uneducated, And Eager To Deceive: Media Coverage Of Religious Liberty In A Nutshell
Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist
In the aftermath of the abominable media coverage of Arizona’s religious liberty bill, an editor shared his hypothesis that journalists care about freedom of speech and of the press because they practice them. And journalists don’t care about freedom of religion because they don’t.
Critics of Arizona Bill Are ‘Trying to Deceive You,’ Liberal and Conservative Law Professors Tell Gov. Brewer
Napp Nazworth, Christian Post
A group of 11 law professors, both liberal and conservative, have written a letter to Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) explaining that she is being deceived by many of the critics of S.B. 1062, who have described the bill as “gay discrimination.”
When Tolerance Turns to Coerced Celebration
Jennifer A. Marshall, The Gospel Coalition
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last night vetoed what should have been a straightforward religious freedom bill. Minor clarifications to existing law got lost in an avalanche of gross mischaracterization as national pundits predicted the bill would usher in a “homosexual Jim Crow” regime with rampant denial of services by business owners to gays and lesbians.
Kirsten Powers Demagogues on Religious Liberty, Again
Ryan T. Anderson, The Foundry
Bill Clinton is an extremist according to Kirsten Powers. That’s the gist of her latest USA Today op-ed, on Arizona’s attempt to protect religious liberty in the state with protections similar to the ones in the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that Clinton signed into law back in 1993. The column is wrongly titled “Arizona Latest to Attack Gay Rights,” even though the bill, SB1062, never mentions gays, lesbians, marriage, or same-sex anything.
Questions You’re Asking About Cakes, Gays, and Religious Freedom
Amy Payne, The Foundry
Cases have been popping up across the country where individuals have declined to bake cakes or take photos for same-sex wedding ceremonies—and government has punished them. This week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a bill that would have put religious liberty protections in place in her state. We sat down with Ryan Anderson, Heritage’s William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society, to get some answers about this debate.