This week’s republican presidential debate was for all intent and purposes a donnybrook. The gloves came off, accusations flew and the political rancor was off the charts. Strangely however, it wasn’t so much candidates mixing it up with other candidates as it was candidates calling out the media who were moderating the debate for bias and hypocrisy. But the candidates were just giving voice to what Americans have believed for some time.
In a 2015 USA Today poll 70% of Americans believe the news media reports with an intentional bias. Whether or not it’s true, it’s the perception and in politics – perception is reality. It’s not just conservative candidates who are the target of a bias liberal media. This past week the Montana Family Foundation was the target of a vicious editorial by Darrell Ehrlick of the Billings Gazette, for our concern that comprehensive sex-education may be written into Montana’s public schools curriculum standards.
I know that you are never supposed to pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel, but given the fact that the radio stations that air our broadcast blanket Montana and extend into parts of all surrounding states and up into Canada, our listenership is larger than the Billings Gazette’s readership – so I’ll take that chance.
Ehrlick’s article was venomous, snarky, immature, unprofessional, and not well written. It typified the bias that conservatives see in the press and more closely resembled a rant on someone’s Facebook page than a serious editorial in the state’s largest newspaper. That said the thing that I find most interesting is that liberal writers like Ehrlick believe that they espouse the majority opinion. They routinely trash conservative groups like the Montana Family Foundation and say that we’re out of touch. But when we promote ballot issues they pass by 60 or even 71 percent as in the case of parental notification for a minor to get an abortion. These are mainstream values and conservatives and independents are tired of being told by the media that we are out of touch. No wonder the circulation of the big dailies is falling; they are no longer the only show in town.
Conservatives are also tired of being told to sit back, remain silent and leave it to the experts – especially in the area of education. You’ll notice that we never denigrate teachers but we routinely go after the teachers union and the bureaucrats at the Office of Public Instruction that the union controls. We regularly receive letters and emails from teachers and administrators who are tired of their classrooms being used as social experiments, they just want to teach. And to the issue of the Health Enhancement Standards that are currently being rewritten by the Office of Public Instruction and were the object of the Billings Gazette editorial, we will continue to monitor the process and report back to you.
Comprehensive sex-education was developed by a group called SEICUS which has close ties to Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. If it’s adopted as part of the curriculum standards, every school in the state will have to teach it – so much for local control. Given the Planned Parenthood videos that have come out, how many parents want Planned Parenthood to have a say in what their child is being taught? Despite the Billings Gazette’s venomous article, we’re not going away. It’s about citizen involvement and parental control and those are both values that we are fighting for.