Media allowed conservative religious leaders to define "moral values"

The Great VALUES Hoax

It took a British publication, The Economist, to point out that the percentage of American voters citing moral and ethical values as their prime concern is actually down from 2000 (35 percent) and 1996 (40 percent).

To see how the hucksters of the right work their scam, there could be no more illustrative example than the article below:


And to that I add an Ukranian take on US elections:

"'Where were these 'moral' voters [who voted for Bush] when your country was lying about its reasons for invading Iraq, taking over its oil and furthering certain people's dreams of an empire? The world has not seen that many 'moral' American voters before.'" - Yuri Yusogotcha, head of the Ukrainian delegation of international election observers

Where were this Christian "values" when Abu Ghraib was happening ?

Media allowed conservative religious leaders to ... [Media Matters for America]

Media allowed conservative religious leaders to define "moral values"
In five days following election, conservative religious figures made 15 media appearances to progressive religious leaders' five

Following the November 2 presidential election, Media Matters for America documented the media's largely unquestioning acceptance of the notion that "moral values" determined the election. In their acceptance, the media did not explain or define what voters meant by "moral values." MMFA found that during the five days after the election, network and cable news outlets gave conservative religious leaders a forum in which to provide that definition; these leaders often appeared without other guests to counter their claims.

Between November 3 and November 7, conservative religious figures appeared a total of 15 times on the major broadcast and cable networks (ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and FOX News Channel, but not CBS) to discuss "moral values," while progressive religious figures appeared a total of only five times. MMFA excluded Newsday columnists Rabbi Marc Gellman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman of "The God Squad" from this tally of figures. Although the two authors and religious speakers did not openly endorse President George W. Bush's reelection, they did speak of the election results as an indicator of a deeply religious nation, of which the "secular" coastal states are "unaware."

Reverend Jerry Falwell, national chairman of the Faith and Values Coalition and Moral Majority founder, and Reverend Joe Watkins, a Bush-Cheney '04 campaign adviser and talk radio host, appeared four times each in the five days following the election. Reverend Jesse Jackson was the only progressive religious leader to make multiple appearances (three) in that time period.

Four conservative religious figures appeared without opponents on news programs between November 3 and November 7: Watkins, Christian Coalition of America founder Reverend Pat Robertson, Peter Sprigg, senior director of policy studies at the Family Research Council (which "promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview"), and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. No progressive religious leaders appeared alone.

Further, when not appearing alone, conservative religious leaders were more often paired with Democratic or progressive pundits who are not religious figures than with progressive religious leaders. For example, on the November 4 edition of CNBC's Capital Report, Falwell was paired with syndicated columnist and MSNBC political analyst Bill Press. On the November 7 edition of CNN's Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff, Randy Tate -- former U.S. Representative and former executive director of the Christian Coalition (which identifies itself as "America's Leading Grassroots Organization Defending our Godly Heritage") -- appeared opposite U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA). Watkins appeared three times opposite progressive pundits who are not religious figures (in his November 3 appearance on CNN's American Morning, he was not described as a "reverend" but as a "Republican strategist"). Progressive religious figures appeared only twice without conservative religious counterparts: Jackson appeared with conservative author and nationally syndicated radio host William J. Bennett on the November 7 edition of NBC's Today, and Reverend Al Sharpton appeared on a panel (on the November 3 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews) that also included NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham, and Republican strategist Ed Rollins.

Many of the conservative religious figures suggested that Bush's victory shows public support for Republican positions on issues such as gay marriage and abortion. As MSNBC host Deborah Norville pointed out, however, polling shows that Democrats are actually more aligned with the American public than Republicans are on those issues.


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