Recommended Read: Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s Incredible Article in The Washington Post on Evangelicals and the Mainstream Media

This is a brief post to let people know about an outstanding article in the Washington Post. Sarah Pulliam Bailey wrote about evangelical Christians and their distrust of the mainstream media.

“In all debates, let Truth be thy aim, not Victory.”

William Penn

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself

James 3:3-6 NLT

comet

One of the many posters inside Comet Ping Pong. You can see my signature in the middle part of the E

Sarah Pulliam Bailey wrote a fantastic article in the Washington Post called, “Evangelicals, your attacks on ‘the media’ are getting dangerous.”  It was written in response to a gunman going into Comet Ping Pong here in the Washington, D.C. area inspired by fake news. I went to Comet Ping Pong tonight and supported the business in light of ongoing pressure created by fake news. On Wednesday The Wondering Eagle is going to discuss Sarah’s article in greater detail. Plus the post will be about how Pizzagate, and fake media threaten the legitimacy of religious blogs such as this one. Plus I also want to write about the sources and methods I use in writing this blog. In addition I also want to explore how freedom of the press comes with great responsibility and how does the scandal of the evangelical mind plays into this situation? Can evangelicals not fact check fake news because they struggle with critical thinking skills and discernment? While I want to get into all of this on Wednesday I want to let people know about an outstanding article in the Washington Post. Take care guys!

 

15 thoughts on “Recommended Read: Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s Incredible Article in The Washington Post on Evangelicals and the Mainstream Media

  1. Thank you, I shall look forward to reading it and your follow up. I was especially awed by the likes of Hillary Clinton and Brian Williams showing such outrage on TV Friday over the subject of ‘Fake News’; if ever there were two people more qualified to speak on the issue… 🙂

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    • I was especially awed by the likes of Hillary Clinton and Brian Williams showing such outrage on TV Friday over the subject of ‘Fake News’

      The Party Can Do No Wrong, Comrades.
      Remember “doublethink” and “blackwhite” in The Principles of Newspeak.

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  2. Do I distrust the “mainstream media”? Absolutely and with good reason. Rare is the objective media outlet. I gravitate toward Fox News as it leans right vs the rest that lean left. I lean right so I watch the network that leans the same direction I do. If media is objective then why do many newspapers feel the need to endorse candidates? That has always galled me. Not only do the candidates think we’re stupid, but the press does too, so newspapers feel the need to enlighten their stupid customers on who to vote for. I’m not saying this about you Eagle, but people like this assume the typical evangelical is soaking up “fake news.” I am an evangelical & kept wondering what all this talk of pizzagate & fake news is about. I had to google it. I think the presumption that people who voted for Trump had to have done so because people are stupid & had to have followed “fake news” because they couldn’t possibly have voted for him if they had followed “real news” is a perfect illustration of the elitist contempt of the left politicians & media outlets have for conservative voters which could be a factor in why Trump won. I certainly don’t like being told who I have to vote for. I voted for Trump, but I don’t like him. I think he’s a misogynist & a bully and a good smart businessman. I think Hillary is also a bully, and enabled her misogynist husband not to mention what she did when defending a child rapist. So in the end, I voted for my desire to hope to have a conservative leader in the White House. First time ever I felt sick over who I voted for, but less sick than if the other one had won. It seemed that Dennis Hastert presided over the House of Represebtatives well, then it came out that he is a child molester so the thought of him figuratively brings bile up my throat. Much has been made out of our hypocrisy for all those years talking about how personal lives/ethics matter & then excusing/voting for Trump. That’s totally fair & justified, but I think it’s like the pot calling the kettle black because all those same years the left told us that personal lives don’t matter. Now with Trump on the scene they suddenly care about personal lives? Did the left suddenly “get religion?” Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 🙂 In fairness, Eagle, what happened in that pizza place is tragic & Eggrich is awful. The article was decent/well written. I am an evangelical who is totally disgusted with abuse/church cover ups/headship (or patriarchy) false doctrine that oppresses & enslaves. I guess that makes me an “egalitarian” which means both being evangelical & egalitarian makes me church homeless. 🙂 Yet I get a little irritated seeing evangelicals get blamed for everything. I guess I’m having an identity crisis. Thanks for letting me rant, though. 🙂

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  3. All good points! I have a habit of switching between FOX, CNN and MSNBC just to see what they all think is newsworthy and how they cover it. Many days, it is hard to believe they are covering the same reality. The only thing we know for sure is that the MSM has shifted into to high gear now and will continue their senseless prattle for at least the next four years- Mr Trump and his highly qualified administration will NEVER do anything right by their standards…….

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  4. I gave up watching college basketball here in the West decades ago because the officiating was so blatant for the home team that sometimes the results became ugly. When the home team can do no wrong they try to get away with much more, and when the visitors get a foul called regardless, they make sure they got their money’s worth with each foul.

    I don’t know if the NCAA officiating out here has since changed but I have noted the news media and the ugliness of the political process has taken on the resemblance of a game where the officials have become irrelevant because of their inability to remain objective.

    For every complaint of liberal media, I hear “faux news” bandied about by the other side so Ms Bailey would do well to point out the blindness of both sides. I live in a left of center community and back when I took the local paper I routinely read letters from people demanding a conservative column be pulled, intolerance and lack of understanding inhabits humanity equally. Also as much Sarah Pulliam Bailey decries the reaction of many against her industry she should be placing the blame almost entirely within her own organization and industry.

    About 20 years ago there was a panel of reporters on NPR that discussed bias in reporting. They made a convincing case that someone growing up in a white middle-class ghetto would not have the ability to understand growing up in a black ghetto, that an all male news team would not understand some of the women’s concerns. Unfortunately when political or ideology was discussed they contended they were professionals and were able to overcome it. Bull. I found I had a worldview more in common with a black man born in Nigeria that came here to get his PhD than I did with many in the community I grew up with. Our worldview, our ideology, however you wish to describe it, is one of the largest chasms to bridge between people, not country of origin, not the color of our skin or our gender.

    If there was a more equal mix of viewpoints in news organizations then when someone steps out of bounds into partisanship they will get called on it by their colleagues. With a uniform ideology I have found it the rare bird who will either detect the bias in their own group let alone confront it. You don’t hear the accent of those who speak the same as you. Until the Washington Post obtains true diversity in their staff, not just one or two token reporters, I will continue to have a lot of suspicion over any of their reports.

    I have found it extremely difficult to find reliable understanding of major issues, so whether it is news from either side of the old style news media, blogs, emails, or word of mouth, especially sermons, skepticism is the order of the day.

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  5. From Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s article:

    “The “mainstream media” is collectively valuable because it presents a range of information and viewpoints,”

    I agree, the mainstream media viewpoints range from left to far-left.

    How anyone who writes for the Washington Post can write this with a clear conscience shows a staggering lack of understanding of what diverse viewpoints are. She definitely needs to get out of the Beltway bubble a little more often.

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  6. At first, I agreed with what the author was writing in that article. But when it became apparent to me that she did not recognize the bias in “mainstream media” that have led to the popularity of these alternative “fake news” sources, she lost me.

    Breitbart, Fox News, conservative talk radio and the like do not exist in a vaccuum. They are there, because they provide representation of the values of folks whose values are not represented by so-called “mainstream” media.

    My sister and I grew up in a conservative home, and my mom watches Fox News religiously. That ideology is essentially her religion, and my sister and I know it.

    I am conservative, but I try to recognize where leftists are right, which I believe to be in a number of areas. My sister is probably a bit more Progressive than I am, but we both try to to be reasonably fair to both sides (well, until leftists antagonize me too much — I can only stomach so much bullying / anti-conservative sentiment / discrimination against conservatives, all of which I have experienced firsthand for a good portion of my life).

    But anyway, my sister and I realize that Fox News is anything but “fair and balanced”, and we don’t take sources like Breitbart and the like seriously. That said, we also recognize the bias in “mainstream media”, even from sources like CNN (and definitely MSNBC). We know better than to trust any of these sources 100%, although we recognize that not everyone really pays attention to the biases or even cares about the unhealthy effects of whichever bias is represented.

    All that said, particularly in light of my background of having been abused in an Evangelical, non-denominational church, whether you’re talking religion or politics, extreme views are extreme views; inaccuracy is inaccuracy; and I believe it best to consider (and within reason, to work to respect) all known perspectives, so that we can learn from one another. Also, no matter how hard we try, we are imperfect and liable to get our facts wrong here and there.

    For example, I am told that Chip and Joanna Gaines’ are members of my college church in Waco, TX. That is the church that psychologically abused me. They are anti-LGBT, as the media is starting to realize. I know, because I’m a former college student member. But the real issue is that the church has had more than a decade’s worth of complaints from former members of abusive and cultic practices, and the media seems to ignore that. Why is that? Evangelical churches tend to be anti-LGBT. But, most of them aren’t accused of cultish or abusive practices. Is spiritual abuse just not newsworthy?

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  7. “For every complaint of liberal media, I hear “faux news” bandied about by the other side so Ms Bailey would do well to point out the blindness of both sides.”

    Bingo. But why would we think her capable or even free to do so?

    Nobody I know is more critical of evangelicalism than me. However, I do see what is going on in that such a perfect whipping boy is deflecting from a lot of horrors and manipulation going on in other quarters.

    I think the idea of unbiased media is a pipe dream. The use of well chosen words is an indicator no one pays attention to the fact they are being manipulated: Hillary responds. Trump rails. And so it goes. A video barely viewed caused Benghazi.There is your fake news. But “what difference does it make”? Just dead Americans. Juanita Broderick and the others being ruined by Hillary’s bimbo eruption express don’t matter. Theu are not worthy victims.

    What we have is an entitlement mentality establishment who don’t have to work hard to seek truth. They manipulate news. They are doing it right now. just play the party line from politicos, media, lobbyists and other hanger ons feeding at the taxpayer trough.

    It reminds me of the dystopian novels and easily it was to manipulate and fool the masses. Divide and conquer.

    The seeds planted are sick and dangerous: If you are an evangelical, you want to persecute Muslims. Muslims are pro women and tolerant of homosexuality. People really believe this stuff contrary to actual events.

    Not impressed with Bailey but a lot of people will think she is cool to know.

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  8. From the article: “We need trusted people (we call them reporters) who are held accountable by others (we call them editors) who are committed to telling the truth.”

    Lol! Of course editors and reporters are all about truth and high ethical standards. Sarcasm alert

    Her article is so self serving as to be quite the joke. And the WaPo as balanced? Please.

    Oh yes, just let the smart people like her decide what you should know. We, the ignorant masses, are too stupid to decipher fake news from the real.

    We are not able to take responsibility in how we evaluate information from many sources. Sheesh!

    Personally, I think she is on a PC bandwagon to elevate her career. Fake News is one of the SBC talking points.

    Think about it. How does she or anyone else know the extent of influence of any fake news? They don’t. They are trying to use it to paint a certain segment of society in a specific way. And it is unfair. I don’t even know who evangelicals are anymore yet she targets without identifying. No Catholics believed fake news? No Muslims?. What is it with all the tribal group think? It is out of control.Why the targeting?

    I did internships on two large dailies and for one local TV station in college. I was appalled at not only how lazy reporters are but how biased the entire operational structure. I changed my focus. I have never had any respect for the media. And worse are writers who lecture us over something vague they can’t even measure in influence.

    I wish I had not read the article. She fancies herself a media elite to the ignorant masses, I suppose.

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    • “Personally, I think she is on a PC bandwagon to elevate her career. Fake News is one of the SBC talking points. ”
      As I’ve mentioned elsewhere I largely checked out from the news media four years ago but from talk among my colleagues it appears this furor over “fake news” is very prevalent in the news media as the concern du jour. As so often occurs when news organizations all talk about the same thing, the WaPo needed to put their oar in the water and Bailey may have drawn the short straw.

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