Eve…A Journalist Ahead of Her Time

15 10 2011

I don’t know your political leanings; but, if you’ve followed the news surrounding the recent Republican candidate debates, you had to have seen the big flap made over the comments of Pastor Robert Jeffress this week in which he made reference to Mormonism being a cult. I went back and listened to his comments and those made by the media afterward.

 

WRONG!

I went on YouTube and watched a news report from KSL TV in Utah. The report included an interview with the pastor in which he stated, “The Southern Baptist Convention, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the world, has officially labeled Mormonism as a cult.” The reporters then went on to say the pastor said that Mormonism is a cult. That’s not what he said. He said the SBC has labeled Mormonism as a cult. I have no doubt that is what the pastor believes, but it isn’t what he said.

 

WRONG Again!

In the same newscast, reporters stated they asked Rick Perry if Mormonism is a cult and he said no. While he did say no, that wasn’t the end of his answer. What he said was, “No, I don’t think it is.” In other words, he only gave his opinion on the subject. To hear the reporters, you would think Rick Perry was claiming to be a Mormon authority with the end-all answer.

 

Now, the point I am trying to make is not that Pastor Jeffress or Rick Perry are right or wrong. That’s a story for a later post. My point is that when you watch the news, you aren’t necessarily getting an accurate account. You are watching only the snippet of video that fits into the brief time the producer has allotted for the story. That is usually only the portion of video the producer wants you to see. Or, they’ll give the story a subtle spin to reflect their personal views or just try to make someone look bad.

 

You are hearing comments written by a news writer, someone in the background that has his or her own opinion and often isn’t any more objective in their writing than I am in mine. The difference is, I’m not a reporter and I don’t write for reporters. I don’t have to be objective. It is not unethical for me to voice my opinion.

 

I chose this topic today because it just fits so well with what I read this morning in my quiet time. I was reading from Genesis when I came upon chapter 3, verse 3. Pick up just after Satan, masquerading as a serpent, challenges Eve on this whole don’t eat from this tree thing. Her response was that God not only said they could not eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, but they should not touch it or they will die.

 

WRONG!

Hold on Lois Lane, that isn’t what God said. In chapter 2, verse 17, He said, “…but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” God never said not to touch the fruit on that tree.

 

Maybe she misunderstood. Maybe Adam had it wrong and she was simply repeating what he had told her. I don’t know; but, either way, she was wrong. She was putting words into God’s mouth. She is now quoted in Scripture making a false statement, just as the reporters at KSL TV appear on YouTube making false statements, along with so many other reporters around the world.

 

Here’s the thing… God tells us in His Word at Revelation 22:18-19 that no one is to add to or remove words from Scripture. When you change the words of what someone says or writes, you often change the context. And changing the context can have disastrous consequences. This error in reporting could cost Rick Perry the Republican nomination. I doubt that because I don’t think he has a snowball’s chance in a microwave. But it may also have been the intent of the writer to do just that.

 

Politics is nasty business and I don’t see why anyone would want to be a part of it. But delivering the news is also a nasty business, especially if you have someone lording over you who has strong political feelings and an agenda to bring down a particular candidate or promote his own personal views. You need look no further than the three major networks for biased reporting at its best.

 

I don’t know if this was a behind the scenes writer putting his or her particular spin on the Mormon/cult story or if he or she simply got it wrong; but if you’re going to be fair and objective, then you must report accurately without altering the context of what is said. To do otherwise is either careless or lying and look where that got Eve.

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One response

15 10 2011
Jackie Garner

Wise words and very much appricated

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