Jan. 19, 2012
Ah, the New York Daily News. How I remember that tabloid journal from my boyhood. That was the newspaper that splashed across its front page photos of the bloody barbershop where Mafia don Albert Anastasia met his end. It was then—is it still?—the largest circulation newspaper in America. In Britain, the tabloids (“tabs”) were called penny dreadfuls. That’s because they cost a penny and they lacked the magisterial tone of the Times of London. Every morning they sold out and every evening they were used to wrap fish and chips.
Now, our Daily News is still plugging away. They conceive it as their duty to inform New York’s “working stiffs”—the subway straphangers—what they should think about the world. Don’t bother going inside to find the editorials. They’re all right there—on the front page. And so is the bias of the Daily News. I wouldn’t say the paper leans to the left, ideologically. The Leaning Tower of Pisa leans. This newspaper’s bias is flat-out, prone, supine.
Sometimes, the bias is so pronounced as to be hilarious. Did you know that John 3:16 is “Tim Tebow’s Verse?” The Daily News thinks it is. It’s almost as if the young quarterback spent his early years in the Philippines as a Wycliffe Bible Translator. If you consider this story, you are warned that—whoa! watch out here—Tim Tebow did a Super Bowl ad for the “anti-abortion” group, Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is probably anti-Mafia, too. And anti-rubbing out dons in barbershops.
But the fact that they are anti-abortion is information you gotta know. It needs to be front-and-center for discerning readers of the Daily News. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say.
John 3:16 has been translated into hundreds of languages. You can even find it in New York City. Now, it seems, Focus on the Family is capitalizing on the name recognition they got with that Super Bowl ad several years back. They’ve put out an ad based on the single most famous verse in the Bible.
The reaction of the journos to John 3:16 is too funny. Focus on the Family becomes “controversial” for saying that the dear children in this ad had a right to life. Focus on the Family doubtless would affirm the sentiment we at Family Research Council have often expressed: “Doesn’t Everyone Deserve a Birth Day?”
Several years ago, a candidate, a businessman, was seeking the support of Christians in Iowa. He wanted to run for Governor. He was getting along fine with his new-found friends. He even called the group leader from the road. “Say, I want you to know, I just passed a billboard with John 3:16 on it. I called my secretary and had her look that one up for me.”
There are, it seems, more conversions on the road toDes Moines even than on the Road to Damascus.
Michael Cromartie with the Ethics and Public Policy Center holds yearly conferences in Florida with mainstream journalists. God bless him. He tells the story of the shocked reaction of a reporter for one of the “prestige press” journals. The young woman had heard some candidate respond to a question on marriage by talking about “headship” in the family. Mr. Cromartie politely responded that, yes, there really are people in America who have read Paul’s thoughts on this in Ephesians.
“Who is this Paul? And what book is this Ephesians?” came the reporter’s stunned response.
My favorite story of media cluelessness goes back to 1985. NBC News Anchorman John Chancellor was so dignified, so august that you might say: There but for the Grace of God, goes God. Chancellor was reporting President Reagan’s Second Inaugural. “The president is moving to the podium. His hand is now on the open Bible. It rests on the president’s favorite verse: Eleven Chronicles, 7:14.
New York’s Daily News might want, just once, to reflect on the current state of the Empire State. From 1810 to 1970, the Empire State, my home state, was the biggest, strongest state in the nation. We had 45 Electoral Votes. Every candidate for president wanted to carry New York State. We were not only the media capital of the nation, we were the business, advertising, industrial, and even agricultural super power of America. If you can make it there, sang Frank Sinatra, you can make it anywhere.
But then New York embraced lifestyle liberalism. And abortion. In the biggest way. Now, New York’s prestige, power, and influence have declined. In Harlem, 60 percent of all pregnancies, mostly of black and Hispanic moms, end in abortion. Not content with destroying the child in the womb, New York now advances to overturn marriage itself. And brags about it.
On my last visit to my mother, she told me about living in Brooklyn during the Second World War. I told her I’d been reading Daniel Patrick Moynihan and was amazed to learn that in 1944, there had been only eight homicides recorded in New York City. “I know all about that,” my mother responded to my lecturing tone. “You forget, I came to Brooklyn in 1944 to marry your father. My sisters-in-law and I used to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge—at midnight.” Then, to underscore New York in its heyday, she said: “And I was carrying you then.”
I was safe in my mother’s womb crossing the Brooklyn Bridge then. How many children never have that chance today? So, yes, I thank God for Focus on the Family’s new ad.
John 3:16 is Tim Tebow’s verse. It’s also the verse for all the world. No one needs it more than New York.