John F. McManus, a retired military officer and now President of the long-discredited and non-influential John Birch Society, is the media’s idea of a traditional military spokesman.
The media’s willfully biased and deliberately distorted coverage of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is unprecedented, but hardly unique. Indeed, in Parts I and II of this series, we examined the Washington Post’s badly biased symposium on “how to change” “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Post blithely assumes, of course, that this policy needs to be changed.
The Post, however, is not alone in its slavish devotion to the left-wing cultural zeitgeist. The Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill, for instance, also published a symposium (on Feb. 2) entitled, “The Big Question: Is this the end of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ ban?”
Of course, there is no real “ban” on gays serving in the military; that’s just a liberal scare word designed to instruct readers about how to think about this issue. In truth, thousands of gay men and women serve honorably and without incident or problem.
Gay men and women serve honorably and without incident or problem because they don’t draw attention to their sexuality or their private sexual lives, which no one in the military really cares about or wants to know about.
Nonetheless, despite the policy’s manifest success in allowing gay men and women to serve honorably and with dignity, The Hill’s guest analysts all agree (surprise, surprise) that yes, now is the time to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
But please don’t accuse The Hill of being unfair and biased. Why, one of their 10 symposium contributors is the President of the John Birch Society; and he does oppose open homosexuality in the military!
Of course, the John Birch Society is completely discredited and has zero influence on American public policy and popular culture. But that’s OK, because in the eyes of the Big Media the only people who oppose its left-wing social agenda are nuts, cranks and malcontents.
I don’t mean to cast aspersions upon Bircher President John McManus, who may be a fine man; but the John Birch Society is simply not a credible or serious organization; and its public image is decidedly negative.
There is a reason, after all, that Bill Buckley disavowed the Birchers many years ago. The liberals and leftists at The Hill know this, of course. That’s why they ensured that their symposium’s one and only (token) opponent of open homosexuality within the ranks was a Bircher.
This is fair and balanced? This is covering an issue honestly? This is giving both sides an impartial and respectful hearing? Is this what they teach at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism? To slight whichever side you think is wrong by giving voice to its most extreme, unrepresentative, and discredited spokesmen?
In Part IV of this series we’ll examine how willful media bias and distortion about military social policy — and specifically, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — has infected even Fox News, which should know better.
John R. Guardiano is an Arlington, Virginia-based writer and analyst. He served as a Marine in Iraq and is still a military reservist. Follow him on Twitter.
Other installments in this series, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and Don’t Even Pretend to Be Fair”: