Sometimes a report will come across the wire which forces one to pause for a second to make sure that it actually happened. The latest example comes via Friday's Mega Noticiero.
In short, a federal judge blocked Mississippi's Protecting Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act (HB 1523) before it went into effect. Here's how the story was featured on Mega:
MARIA ELVIRA SALAZAR, ANCHOR, MEGA NOTICIERO: The federal judge blocked the law before it became effective, and according to Reeves, the measure is unconstitutional because the state has manipulated the scales in order to favor some beliefs over others.
One problem with this report is that it is factually inaccurate. Salazar's wording of the story suggests a finality to the injunction, but in fact Judge Reeves' order makes clear that it is preliminary in nature. HB 1523 will certainly make its way to the Fifth Circuit of Appeals and, potentially, to the Supreme Court.
Furthermore, no attention was accorded to the religious liberty side of the argument, or to the legitimate concerns of business owners who find themselves in a position where they may be compelled to violate their conscience or face government penalty, as in the cases of Sweet Cakes in Oregon or Arlene's Flowers in Washington State, just to name a few.
Mega erred by confining the story to such cursory coverage within such a short segment. The result was an an entirely one-sided and innacurate presentation.
The story deserved better, as did supporters of both sides of the marriage issue post-Obergefell and, ultimately, the viewers that have placed their trust in Mega Noticiero.
Below is a full transcript of the cited report:
MARIA ELVIRA SALAZAR, ANCHOR, MEGA NOTICIERO: Let's turn now to Mississippi, where gay couples will now be able to get married with no problems, and without any of the impediments recently placed upon them by the governor of that state, Mr. Phil Bryant, who is a Republican. And he had approved a law that allowed Mississippi merchants and government employees to use their religious beliefs as justification in order to deny or delay marriages of gay couples. The federal judge blocked the law before it became effective, and according to Reeves, the measure is unconstitutional because the state has manipulated the scales in order to favor some beliefs over others.