NYT: Only Christian Fundamentalists Make Controversial Blog Posts

The New York Times' Neela Banerjee today pens “Evangelical Filmmakers Criticized for Hiring Gay Actor.”

“Christian ministers were enthusiastic at the early private screenings of ‘End of the Spear,’ made by Every Tribe Entertainment, an evangelical film company. But days before the film's premiere, a controversy erupted over the casting of a gay actor that has all but eclipsed the movie and revealed fault lines among evangelicals.”

Banerjee talks to Rev. Jason Janz, who posted comments on sharperiron.org about actor Allen’s gay activism.

Give the Times a little credit for covering, in a mostly straightforward manner, an obscure topic of interest to social conservatives. But in the middle of the story, apropos of nothing, comes this sidelight, apparently meant only to cast the Christian side of the debate as extremist:

“One Web log, nossobrii.blogspot.com, written by Kevin T. Bauder, president of Central Baptist Seminary in Minneapolis, stated in a Jan. 13 entry: ‘Granted, we must not overreact. And it would probably be an overreaction to firebomb these men's houses. But what they have done is no mistake. It is a calculated strategy.’

“Greg Clifford, chief operating officer of Every Tribe, said the company, based in Oklahoma, had alerted the F.B.I. there about the Web log. The F.B.I. did not return phone calls yesterday about the matter. Mr. Janz said he had not been contacted by the F.B.I., and Mr. Bauder could not be reached for comment.”

Bauder was commenting on something Janz had written on sharperiron.org – but how does that make Janz culpable for what Bauder wrote?

As if what Bauder wrote was at all to be taken seriously.

Here’s a longer excerpt, with some context:

“I feel a bit as if Jason has run the ball 98 yards, only to be tripped up at the one-yard-line. It was a great run (really great), but I can’t help wishing he’d have gone another step or two. Granted, we must not overreact. And it would probably be an overreaction to firebomb these men’s houses. But what they have done is no mistake. It is a calculated strategy. This is not a private peccadillo. It is a very public scandal. It is a scandal because it promotes a man who is working hard to advance one of the most shameful and unnatural of human abuses.”

Tasteless, perhaps, but clearly not to be taken literally. Does the Times reprint inflammatory comments from left-wing blogs and note calls made to the FBI regarding them?

For a contrast in tone, look at Alan Cowell’s article today on the Muslim protests and boycotts of Denmark, based on a Danish newspaper’s cartoon portrayals of Muhammad. Cowell deals with an actual (not a joking remark) bomb threat to the Danish embassy in a single paragraph, and reports of actual (not joking remarks) death threats against the editor of the newspaper and the cartoonists are left unmentioned.

Cowell also apparently did not cruise Muslim websites in a search for inflammatory language directed at the cartoonists. Nothing against Cowell’s article, which isn’t bad, but why the double standard?

For more New York Times bias, visit TimesWatch.

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Clay Waters's picture