Thursday, June 13, 2013

Does The Pope Francis Gay Lobby Story Show A Lack of Media Diversity ?

I thought Rod Dreher had a rather good column on why many conservatives view talk of " diversity " as a type of a con game.

See Diversity For Thee, But Not For Me . I think he makes a reasonable argument and one I largely agree. Rod though in responding in the comments to a commenter makes an interesting observation on another front that has been in the news. The so call Pope Francis Gay Lobby story.

 [NFR: Geoff, you should realize that the Southern Baptist Convention has nothing at all to do with the Westboro Baptist Church. Why on earth do you accuse them of letting the Westboro nuts define Christianity? Second, though I appreciate very much the diversity on this blog, many people, both liberals and conservatives, have told me that this blog is a huge exception to the rule on most blogs. Most important, though, the diversity we're talking about here is workplace diversity. It has been exceptionally important in my line of work, because it is through the media lens that we come to understand the world. You would not know from reading the mainstream American press that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were very much to the (American) left on economics. The US media narrative portrayed them as moral conservatives on sexuality (which they were), and downplayed or ignored their statements about economics and fairness. Why? I would say that this is because they chose to report on the issues that interested them. Yesterday, the front page of the NYT's website carried a story reporting Pope Francis's private observation that there is a "gay lobby" in the Vatican. I agree that that story is somewhat newsworthy, but from a Catholic point of view, his remarks about the extremes in the Catholic church was the more important observation. But the Times has an incredibly strong bias towards highlighting gay issues (as two previous public editors have written), so that's the lens through which they cover much news. This is what I mean by the lack of diversity within the media workplace -- often reporters, editors, and producers don't know what they don't know. I think most reporters make an effort to be fair, which is, I think, all you can reasonably expect of a journalist. I don't believe in affirmative action for conservatives. That said, if liberals in media management really meant what they said about diversity, they would be concerned about the lack of conservatives and religious believers in newsrooms. They don't, so they aren't. Their idea of diversity runs the gamut from A to B. I think this is true in most places, but most consequentially in the newsroom. -- RD]

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