THE ME­DIA’S NU­ANCE

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“Why is it that the me­dia reg­u­larly adorns the term ‘re­li­gious free­dom’ with su­per­flu­ous quo­ta­tion marks but not terms like ‘en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist’ or ‘civil rights’ or ‘mar­riage equal­ity’ — or any other of the many de­bat­able is­sues of Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal dis­course?” writes David Harsanyi, se­nior edi­tor of The Fed­er­al­ist and a syn­di­cated colum­nist.

“Well, maybe un­bi­ased jour­nal­ists feel a re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­ti­mate to read­ers that re­li­gious free­dom is con­sid­ered a du­bi­ous as­ser­tion by one side of the de­bate. And this would be a rea­son­able ed­i­to­rial de­ci­sion if it were em­ployed con­sis­tently. It’s not. What’s more likely is that ed­i­tors and jour­nal­ists con­sider the term ‘re­li­gious free­dom’ du­bi­ous be­cause any­thing that strikes them as ‘dis­crim­i­na­tory’ or stands in way of ‘pro­gres­sive’ moral aims is by de­fault il­le­git­i­mate,” Mr. Harsanyi con­tin­ues.

“The quo­ta­tions marks them­selves are not a big deal, of course, but they are a re­flec­tion how the topic is viewed by secular Amer­ica and too-of­ten cov­ered by the me­dia, which is to say very badly,” he adds.

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