Resistance tactics

Praising good information, respecting Obadiah journalists

Issue: "Don't have a cow," Aug. 11, 2001

Asheville, N.C.-Late last month, teaching in this summer's World Journalism Institute course, I saw that even students who are suspicious of the liberal ideology dominant on campuses often don't know where to turn. That's a shame (and it's shameful their professors don't tell them) because some great information sources are just a keystroke away. Three websites that I recommended to the students provide conservative perspectives. National Review Online ( has fresh daily content from the magazine that for nearly half a century has been a leading conservative voice. Opinion Journal (www. includes material from the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, which stars Paul Gigot, John Fund, and America's best columnist, Peggy Noonan. My third recommendation, Town Hall (, is the most comprehensive website for conservative ideas. It includes a news wire and numerous news/ opinion articles, columns by 60 syndicated columnists, and an issues library with material on economics, education, energy, foreign policy, health and science, and a host of other issues. Another useful website, given the way many liberal professors worship The New York Times, is Every day Ira Stoll provides a critique of that morning's Times coverage, and in doing so shows the truth of the old parody ("All the news that fits we print") of the newspaper's slogan. My final recommendations may surprise some WORLD readers. Liberal Mickey Kaus ( thinks for himself and undermines both liberal and conservative party lines. Andrew Sullivan ( is a homosexual who is also, curiously, a Catholic conservative. Why suggest reading those two? Because at WORLD, as our subscribers know by now, we want to fight cultural decay, and not merely escape it. Our goal in American society is transformation, not separation, and that means we need to understand divergent cultural views while at the same time building a strong biblical base. Students also asked about the best journalistic career path to take in today's battles, but my sense is that we should be opportunistic, seizing the openings God gives us, and not despising those who take a different route. WORLD has been able to make strong progress because magazine journalism is now a field in which many publications compete for slices of a large pie. Local daily newspaper journalism, though, is the opposite. Because of the economics of advertising, newspapers that lost circulation battles in their cities from the 1950s through the 1970s often went into a death spiral. Advertising followed the leader; dollars lost by the No. 2 newspapers often left them without the money to keep up journalistically; that led to further circulation losses, which led to further advertising losses. By 1980 nearly every city was left with only one newspaper, often a bland one that had survived by accepting rather than challenging liberal ideology. Working on such a newspaper is difficult for a reporter with a Christian worldview who wants to tell the truth, but the Obadiahs in such positions should not be scorned. The Obadiah I'm referring to is not the prophet, but the man who was in charge of the palace of murderous King Ahab (see chapter 18 of 1 Kings). Obadiah had a double life; he was also a devout believer in God, using his position to save the lives of 100 prophets by hiding them in caves and providing food and water. We need Elijahs with the guts to confront an Ahab, but it also takes courage to be an Obadiah protecting those whom Ahab is persecuting. Obadiah journalists on daily newspapers, by fighting the trend to offer liberal propaganda disguised as news, can offer some protection to those who do not bow to our contemporary idols. Sometimes, if they are valued employees-Obadiah took good care of Ahab's palace, Obadiah journalists with writing talent can be too good to fire-they can even ask editors to mind their manners. If editors treat the evolution-creation battle as a conflict of smart vs. stupid, Obadiahs can ask for balanced treatment of the two worldviews that are colliding. If editors refuse to allow descriptions of what happens during a partial-birth abortion, Obadiahs can ask why they are suddenly ignoring the journalistic imperative to use specific detail. Some Christians scorn Obadiah journalists, assuming they are sellouts-and the danger of selling out is real. But Christians need to be a presence on the inside as well as pressure on the outside, and churches need to support both kinds of warriors with prayer and sympathetic listening . We're hoping there are some Elijahs among this year's World Journalism Institute class, but we're delighted to boost the careers of the Obadiahs as well.

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Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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