Columnists > Voices

Seven big lies

Without a conversation on major issues, the media's intent remains suspect

Issue: "Don't fence me out," April 21, 2007

Not many of the folks I know and work with enjoy being lied to. No matter how sloppy any of us might be personally in our own handling of the truth, it just isn't human nature to disregard it when someone else lies to us. Instead, we feel injured and taken advantage of.

We may be a bit forgiving if it's nothing more than social fibbing. Yet even then, when someone says how nice it is to see you when you know they'd rather be somewhere else, you still tend to mutter to yourself: "Why can't you tell me the truth?"

But especially when the lies' contents affect your future welfare and behavior, you understandably avoid people who tell them. On the internet, we call it spam. We have other words for unreliable weather forecasters, untrustworthy stockbrokers, deceitful used car salesmen, or hide-it-in-the-closet real estate agents. In short, we tell such people: Get a reputation like that, and we'll make it a point not to patronize you.

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So why in the world do we keep listening to our nation's major media? Why do the nation's big newspapers, radio and television networks, and wire services keep getting a pass-when day after day and night after night they keep hurling king-sized lies our way? Just to remind us how gullible we all tend to be, here's a short list of where the big media regularly get it not just slightly skewed but exactly backwards. Here are seven Big Lies we all are subjected to virtually all the time:


Amazingly, according to polls, the masses-after at least two generations of propaganda-aren't convinced. By majorities of at least 2-1, they still think "God" had something to do with where everything came from. But evolution remains a basic assumption of the elites who control the media. The evidence? Almost never will you hear an argument. What you almost always get instead is an "expert."

Global warming

Ditto about "experts" instead of serious two-way arguments. If you missed my column on this topic in WORLD's March 24/31 issue, please go back and read why the bully tactics of the "experts" raise questions about their zeal for the truth.


Just imagine 45 million people dying from any other cause over the last 34 years since the Roe v. Wade decision-and then avoiding painstaking media analysis. Where are the truth-seekers about the connection between those 45 million deaths and the Social Security crisis? Or truth-seekers exploring a possible connection between those 45 million deaths and our nation's need now to allow a steady stream of problematic immigrants? Where are the truth-tellers who will show-on TV-what really happens during an abortion?


Why no serious pursuit of why homosexuals have a life span 20 years shorter than the general population?

Stem-cell research

Almost every day on the news, you'll hear references to conservatives' opposition to "stem-cell research." I'm offering a free lifetime subscription to WORLD to anyone who can identify a prominent conservative who holds to such a point of view. The debate, of course, is about embryonic stem-cell research-a practice that requires the discarding of early human embryos. The mainstream media so often and so consistently confuse the two practices that their basic honesty has to be called into question.


Mainstream media, like mainstream politicians (including President Bush), dance dishonestly around this one-and for understandable reasons. But isn't it a hallmark of serious journalism that the truth must be pursued no matter what the cost?


Assumed by all elites to be an indicator of a mature and virtuous society, pluralism never seems to face the serious scrutiny of the media. Nor does the public get much help exploring exactly what pluralism, multiculturalism, and similar so-called qualities ultimately mean. Basic test: How do the media determine which movements can be mocked and ridiculed, and which ones can't?

On all these issues-and they're not tiny, insignificant social questions-we're not asking that the media agree with us. All we want is an honest discussion. So long as such a conversation is regularly denied, why should we not conclude that someone actually means to be lying to us?

Joel Belz
Joel Belz

Joel, WORLD's founder, writes a regular column for the magazine and contributes commentaries for The World and Everything in It. He is also the author of Consider These Things.


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