FIRST-PERSON: Media: missing the news

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)--"When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often," author John B. Bogart observed. "But if a man bites a dog, that is news." If Bogart's assertion is correct and uncommon events at least qualify as newsworthy, then why has most of America not heard about two recent hate crimes, one aimed at a church and the other leveled at a Christian school?

The mainstream media is constantly presenting stories of "harassed" homosexuals. My files are full of news stories of gays alleging bias of various shapes, forms and fashions. So prolific are reports of "homophobic" intimidation they have become "dog bites man" stories.

What is seldom covered is intimidation initiated by a homosexual against an individual or institution opposed to the gay lifestyle. So sparse is the reporting on the subject one might assume that it almost never occurs. So when it does happen, I would think a newspaper would salivate over the prospect of reporting the prized "man bites dog" story.

Strange, but it doesn't seem to be that way. An accusation of harassment by a homosexual is all that is needed to gain the media's full attention. However, in order for a news organization to report on a homosexual acting on his or her hetero-phobia, the perpetrator must verbally confess and do so with a pronounced lisp.

Consider the following.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently reported, "A part-time church janitor suspects three men beat him because his pastor preached against homosexuality...."

Richard Bilski was assaulted at approximately 6:45 a.m. on Aug. 17 just outside the nondenominational Church on the Rise located in Westlake, Ohio. The attack occurred after three men confronted Bilski demanding to know when Pastor Paul Endrei would arrive at the church. When he told them he did not know, the men cursed him, punched him, struck him in the face with a tennis racket and tore off his shirt. As the men fled, one yelled, "This is a message for Pastor Paul."

One week prior to the attack, Endrei had preached a sermon calling homosexuality a sin. The Plain Dealer quoted the pastor as saying, "I told the congregation, 'The Gospel according to Gene Robinson (the first openly gay homosexual Episcopalian confirmed as a bishop) is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ,'"

Though the police say they have no way of knowing the motive for the attack (yeah right -- can you say politically correct policing?), Belski and Endrei believe the nature and timing of the assault are more than mere coincidence.

It is likely you never heard of this story before now. Why? Because it appeared in only two places: The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Internet news site World Net Daily.

Had the situation described above occurred to a church comprised primarily of homosexuals, headlines from coast to coast would have read, "Gay church target of homophobe violence."

Unless you are an Internet news junky like I am, you are totally oblivious to the next story. I became aware of it via Christianity Today's weblog.

According to reports on two Internet sites, St. Paul Lutheran School, located in Westlake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, was evacuated on Sept. 4 after a man called threatening to blow up the facility over the church's belief that homosexuality is a sin.

According to reports, the threat specified that if the pastor did not appear on television stating his support for gay "marriage," the entire school would be blown up. After all 270 students were evacuated no bomb was found.

Ironically, the aforementioned story could only be found at two gay websites: www.365gay.com and www.washblade.com. A call to the school confirmed both reports were accurate.

Imagine if the new homosexual high school in New York City was the target of a bomb threat. Headlines from sea to shining sea would scream, "Homophobe threatens gay school."

Not one single major newspaper mentioned either of these stories. Even The Cleveland Plain Dealer shied away from what one Internet site called a "gay marriage bomb threat." Why? Could it be that they dare not print a single syllable that could possibly cast homosexuality in a negative light?

With or without legislation, homosexuals are fast becoming a protected class in America. Media elites frown on reporting anything that might harm the affirmation of homosexuality as natural and normal. If the man biting a dog happens to be gay, you probably won't read about in The New York Times, or in any other major newspaper for that matter.


Boggs' column appears each Friday in Baptist Press. He is pastor of Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore.

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