Culture,  Politics

J. P. Moreland Tweaks Mainstream Media

One of our favorite evangelical philosophers tweaks the mainstream media’s coverage of the abortion debate in America. The criticism appears in a recent blog post titled, “Michael Vick, Dog Fighting and Media Hypocrisy.” He writes:

“Why won’t the media show pictures or video of abortions and aborted babies when they show the carnage of the Iraq war and the hideous dog fighting surrounding Michael Vick? Answer: It’s pure hypocrisy. The media is overwhelmingly secular and pro-abortion. The widespread use of ultra-sound pictures during pregnancy is decreasing the number of abortions. Similarly, if people were given the chance to view an abortion or its results on television, much of the abortion debate would be over. Media folk who get the importance of viewing graphic violence (dog fighting, brutality in war) to expose the real evil of certain acts and who won’t defend this right for abortion are hypocrites. It’s that simple.”


  • Paul

    “I quit watching the news long ago.”

    This is problematic too, however.

    Maybe the news outlets have a bias, but even more likely, it’s just the fact that this is horrifying stuff, and you and I know it. Not to mention, where or when are you going to air it? During the 6pm news? “Today in area town, Jane Doe had an abortion. Here’s video footage of the baby being killed in the womb.”

    Not watching the news, and not knowing what’s going on in the world is a bad idea. People in America are dumb enough and ethnocentric enough as it is. There’s no need for anyone to add to it by being willfully ignorant.

    Now, Moreland has a point, but most of the people around here need to be a little less quick with the finger pointing. After all, being pro-life means BEING pro-life. Which means being anti-war, and especially anti-pre-emptive strike. Being pro-life would also mean working to ensure that kids like Graeme Frost can get medical care when necessary, without fear of being swift-boated by Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP. But that brings me back to the point that I’ve made before: the republican party, and far too many evangelicals ARE NOT pro-life. They’re simply pro-birth. Once those kids are out of the womb, they’re on their own. Forget the verse about what you do to the least of these, you do to me, what about my cash?

    Talk about being pro-life when you’re pro-life for everybody.

  • jeff

    “Not watching the news, and not knowing what’s going on in the world is a bad idea. People in America are dumb enough and ethnocentric enough as it is. There’s no need for anyone to add to it by being willfully ignorant.”

    Paul, if we agree on the bias of the news media then isn’t watching the mainline news a way of subjecting ourselves to their gross ignorance? I never said I didn’t seek to know what is going on in the world but I choose not to watch mainline news programs which I believe have a twisted agenda. I don’t need to watch everything to know something do I? Perhaps in a consumer culture we should choose not to consume those things we believe further an agenda that we disagree with.

    I hope thats not a “dumb” statement. 🙂

  • Billy

    I always hate the argument among conservatives that the “media” is biased with left wing propaganda. As if the “media” was some conglomerate news organization being run by the Democratic Party. The truth of the matter is that media oulets cover stories that will attract viewers/readers. Are certain media outlets prone to leaning one way or the other?Sure (Fox News may be the most prominent)! I think each magazine, newspaper, television program, etc. should be judged on it’s own merits with regards to it’s neutrality over certain issues.

  • Paul

    Actually, Matthew, it’s not. He screams hypocrisy while too many evangelicals are guilty of just as much hypocrisy.

    Moreland is a great apologist. He should stick to defending the gospel instead of his silly half-essays that he writes for that website. He never fully reaches his conclusions, and he never elaborates on his themes.

    It’s sad when something is “excellent” simply because it’s agreeable.

  • jeff

    Is an ad hominem tu quoque attack reason not to look at the issue that Moreland brings to light? Maybe he has a plank but that doesn’t negate the speck.

  • Paul


    I agree that Moreland makes a point. However, he DOESN’T point out the following:

    1) where in a newscast would this be brought up?

    2) who is going to pay for the advertising for a show like this (and I guarantee, if someone puts up enough money to support the show, even the feminist-atheist-serial killer network will show it)? Let’s face it, it’s not fair to ask Proctor and Gamble to advertise on a show that would alienate at least half of its audience.

    3) when would this be shown at a time that is both reasonable to expect a decent audience AND on late enough to ensure that little Brad and Jenny don’t have to see it? (Say what you will, the conversation with the kids about dog fighting is A LOT easier than the conversation about watching the little baby get killed)

    4) Why hasn’t anyone lobbied Faux news about this yet? If there’s one station that WOULD presumably carry this, it’s the GOP Network that is FOX. If they won’t carry it, maybe they’re asking the same questions I am. (full disclosure…I do work in radio when I’m not out playing with my band…buy my CD)

    5) What do you expect to gain from this? Let’s face it: the entire country KNOWS that science agrees that life begins at conception. Many in the pro-choice camp simply choose to “not see it that way.” So, even seeing the baby die on TV is probably not going to change their opinion. And let’s face it, they’d probably change the channel before it got too graphic. The only people that would stick around to be horrified are the ones that are horrified already. In other words, do it and you’ll just be preaching to the choir.

    Moreland misses all of those points by a country mile, and therefore his whole essay is flawed. It is a nice way to get off a good shot at the MSM, however, and his essay seems to have more to do with that than any common sense way to deal with abortion.

    Should video of an abortion be played in high school as part of the sex ed class that y’all want to get rid of? Absolutely. Should it be shown on the news? Sure. Just tell me when it makes any sense to do so.

  • Jon

    Isn’t it the point that abortion is so heinous an act that it can’t possibly be aired? I think Moreland is mostly right in the assessment that the media is behaving poorly by freely displaying one type of violence but failing to display another. I don’t know if either are appropriate to display in the mainstream, so I don’t necessarily agree with Moreland in the application of his point, but his point is dead on, no matter what the conclusion.

    Paul, does pro-life in the sense of abortion really demand anti-war as well (comment #3)? Because if it does, God has some explaining to do, what with all of the COMMANDED killing of men, women, and children in the time of the overtaking of the land of Canaan by the Israelites.

    Malicious murder of defenseless unborn children is unthinkable, however. That’s why pro-life is most decidedly NOT the same as anti-war. Besides, being anti-war necessitates also being anti-military, does it not? Let’s see who can capture the USA first, shall we? Completely impractical doctrine to embrace.


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