Accuracy in Media

Veteran journalist Wes Vernon spoke at the recent AIM/McDowell Luncheon on “Media Bias: A Decades Long Story.”  The conservative commentator gave an hour-long speech that discussed the serious problem in the media of majoring in the minor. Instead of focusing on unimportant issues, like the Michael Jackson trial, he remarked, the media needs to focus on issues of real impact to people’s lives.

This speech focused on three important issues: the mainstream media’s coverage of immigration, the threat posed by China, and the record of disgrace from some people in the media throughout the Cold War and the war on terrorism.

On the issue of immigration, Vernon cites a recent poll that had 91 percent of the public agreeing with the statement that immigration is a serious problem. Mr. Vernon found it very strange that not a single reporter asked the president any question on the problems of immigration at his April 28, 2005 primetime press conference. “In a country as diverse as ours, it’s hard to get 91 percent of Americans to agree on anything,” Mr. Vernon said.

While Mr. Vernon is married to an immigrant, he makes the case that terrorists have worked within current laws to enter the country legally. Illegal entry, Mr. Vernon points out, presents even greater problems.

That terrorist organizations are using our immigration laws against us is certainly not a far-fetched idea. The 9/11 Commission reported that all 19 hijackers entered the country legally although at least two, and possibly as many as eight, of them had fraudulent visas. If a terrorist attack occurs due to insufficient immigration reform, Mr. Vernon predicts many conservatives will turn on this President and support his impeachment.

The second national security threat he covered was the growing threat posed by China. Mr. Vernon pointed out how Chinese leaders have openly threatened to destroy American cities. Now, Vernon notes, their military can kill millions of Americans inside of thirty minutes.

He urged the audience to read a recently released book from the late Constantine Menges entitled, China: The Gathering Threat. Menges played a key role in formulating and implementing foreign policy during the Reagan administration as an intelligence officer in the CIA and later as a senior staffer at the National Security Council.

For the immediate future, Vernon recently wrote in his column at that Menges recommended that we expel any companies from our nation that serve as subsidiaries for “any military or intelligence-related entities in China, Russia or any other non-allied state.” Over the long term, Veron was more explicit in his column than he was during his speech about the future with China when he quoted Richard Fisher, who is vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center. Fisher said, “Let’s wake up. The post-Cold War peace is over.”

The final topic he brought up was the media coverage of the Cold War and the war on terror, which he viewed as bordering on criminal. Vernon clearly understood his audience and briefly discussed issues ranging from communist infiltration in the government and the separation of stupid liberals from real communists.

Vernon shocked me with his account of how so many people were genuinely supportive of communism and how negative the coverage was for its opponents. A seminal moment in his life was when his teacher, who was certainly no communist, started to rant about how Chiang Kai Chek was a terrible human being. He stated in his speech how some people didn’t even refer to Mao’s forces as communists, but as “agrarian reformers.”

Educated people felt this way because some na?ve people read from reputable media outlets, and wrote books that were highly regarded by these respected newspapers, while recommending other books from people of like mind. From the days of Walter Duranty, there have been people who have put a positive face on this evil ideology while many others simply didn’t realize what they were doing.

Vernon warns that the poor coverage continues with stories like Michael Graham getting fired because of a smear campaign from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Vernon clearly states that CAIR is an organization that has even shown support for Hamas.

On September 10, 2003, Senator Charles Schumer of New York singled out CAIR’s then-Chairman Omar Ahmed and Executive Director Nihad Awad for having “intimate links to Hamas.” It is now known that CAIR has received funding from the Saudi government. According their official website, both of these men are still board members of CAIR.

Vernon concluded that the lack of focus on important issues may not be deliberate, but it is clear that not enough people are taking the war on terrorism and other important issues more seriously.

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