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 Media Reality Check

Wednesday, December 23, 1998 - Vol. Two, No. 51 - Media Inquiries: Keith Appell (703) 683-5004

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Christmas Reminds Us That Media Figures Have Exploited Their Idea of Jesus in Political Terms

To Us a Secular Liberal Savior is Born?

     Journalists might have noticed that Jesus Christ was quoted as saying "My kingdom is not of this world." They presume conservatives think Jesus is a Buchanan delegate. But the media have too often suggested Jesus is comparable to Marxists in Russia or the Caribbean, or lovable Southern Democrats, or anybody else with whom they agree culturally or politically. In the strange world of the media, to be a leftist is to be godlike -- or better:

     Jesus as Marxist: "The Communist Manifesto is well worth the $12 that Verso is asking. Despite the hype, its message is a timeless one that bears repeating every century or so: The meek shall triumph and the mighty shall fall; the hungry and exhausted will get restless and someday -- someday! -- rise up against their oppressors. The prophet Isaiah said something like this, and so, a little more recently, did Jesus." -- Time columnist Barbara Ehrenreich in an April 30, 1998 book review for the web site Salon. (In the October 13, 1994 Time, Ehrenreich called Haitian Marxist Jean-Bertrand Aristide "as Christ-like a figure as ever headed a state.")

     Che Guevara as Jesus: "He's simultaneously endowed with the humility of an everyman and the larger-than-life presence of a hero...In the proliferation of his image since his death (he'd be 69 today), he's remained an ever-youthful demi-God. Chesucristo, superstar." -- Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight, October 18, 1997.

     Spare Us "Crap" About Hell at Christmas: "The Rapture is, and I quote, 'is the immediate departure from this Earth of over four million people in less than a fifth of a second,' unquote. This happily-volatilized mass of the saved were born again in Jesus Christ. Everybody left behind will basically go to Hell, but not before experiencing Armageddon, which is a really bad end of the world...This loving Christmas message coming as it did against the jingle of the mall Santa and the twinkling manger at corner of Canal and the Ramparts made it clear that the Rapture is indeed necessary. The evaporation of four million people who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place." -- New Orleans-based National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu on All Things Considered, December 19, 1995.

     Jesse Helms vs. Jesus: "Well the famous line I guess, more liberal than Bill Clinton. Gasp! Shudder! Too liberal for North Carolina. Helms always runs mean ads. I talked to one man down there who was saying if he was running against Jesus he'd find a way to attack him." -- CNN's Bruce Morton on the North Carolina Senate race, November 6, 1996.

     Gorbachev Surpassed Jesus: "Gorbachev has probably moved more quickly than any person in the history of the world. Moving faster than Jesus did. America is always lagging six months behind." -- Ted Turner in Time, January 22, 1990.

     Gorbachev and Jesus, Part Two: "Jesus said love your enemies. This week's meeting of the Pope John Paul and Mikhail Gorbachev brings together two traditional enemies, both of whom have shown, time and again, that they can rise above the hatreds of history...The meeting, said one priest in Rome, is like the lion lying down with the lamb, but in this case, he said, it's hard to tell who's the lion and who's the lamb." -- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, November 29, 1989.

     Merry Christmas and best wishes for a more objective press in 1999. -- Tim Graham


L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent Baker, Tim Graham, Editors; Jessica Anderson, Brian Boyd, Geoffrey Dickens, Mark Drake, Paul Smith, Media Analysts; Kristina Sewell, Research Associate.  For the latest liberal media bias, read the CyberAlert at






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