‘Unabashedly liberal’ kiddie porn
Richard Newcomb at Newsbusters.org asks a question that really doesn’t need an answer:
Does the media treat hypocrites of differing political preferences similarly? The evidence would suggest not. [. . . ]
Famed left-wing radio personality Bernie Ward of San Francisco, a former priest who had one of the loudest and most consistently anti-George W. Bush voices in the entire nation, was found guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography on [May 9] and will serve at least five years in prison. Ward tried to argue that he was “doing research” on child pornography [. . . ].
If the media is truly objective, they will cover this fall from grace as assiduously as they did with [Christian evangelical ministers Jim] Bakker, [Ted] Haggard and the others they have gleefully observed succumb to their flaws.
Thus, I did a search for 'Bernie Ward' on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. MSNBC, CBS and CNN had nothing on the scandal. ABC ran a single story that presented Ward as a victim who had “run afoul” of the government laws. Isn't that the same as breaking the law? ABC seems not to know the difference when it concerns liberals. Meanwhile, the supposedly conservative Fox ran a brief report of Ward's guilty plea, not siding with either party. It seems that only Fox and ABC felt this qualified as news, and ABC did their best to present Ward as a victim, not the criminal that he has admitted he is. So as much as I would like to believe that this will be front-page news in the national media, I won't hold my breath.”
[The following are excerpts from the above-mentioned ABC article]:
Jeanette Boudreau, Ward's business attorney, told ABC News that Ward — described on his Web site as “unabashedly liberal” — told her he wanted to show that some Republicans and members of the religious right are public moralists who don't practice what they preach in the privacy of their homes. [. . .]
“He tried to have a dialogue with people and see what he could talk them into saying and agreeing to,” she said. “He lost track of himself and didn't stop and think about what he was doing.”
Ward nevertheless ran afoul of a tough federal law that makes it illegal to possess, receive or distribute child pornography without an exception for reporters or academic research.
[After devoting so much space to his attorney and then shading the facts of a “tough law” to jibe with her account, the story ends with two paragraphs detailing Ward’s charitable endeavors, closing with this gushy quote from one charity worker]:
“Bernie is deeply committed to trying to make things happen," [. . . ]. He doesn't just talk a good game, but says I need to put my weight behind this in a big way. He is a source of inspiration for the work we're trying to do.”
[But check out this report from the celebrity police blotter site Smoking Gun way back in February]:
[P]olice reports indicate that Ward, a 56-year-old former Catholic priest, began a graphic online correspondence with a San Francisco-area dominatrix who used the name "Sexfairy" and called cops when Ward sent her a lewd digital image featuring a topless woman, a nude boy, and a young girl.
Couple that with Ward’s admission in his guilty plea to sending between 15 and 150 images of child pornography via email and the “research” angle loses a lot of its steam. Wonder why ABC couldn’t find the space to describe exactly what Ward was doing and who he was sending his “research” photos to?
— “Left-wing Radio Host Admits Child Pornography — Will Media Report?” posted May 12 at newsbusters.org
— “S.F. Radio Host Pleads Guilty in Child Porn Case,” posted May 9 at abcnews.com
— “A Slave To “Research,” posted Feb. 15 at thesmokinggun.com
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