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Today's rallies, and why the media won't notice them

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 23, 2012

At noon today, tens of thousands of Americans—hundreds of thousands, probably—will participate in the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies in cities scattered from coast to coast. My confident prediction is that these event will receive less media coverage than a single rally, involving a few hundred people, for a liberal cause.

Oh, there will be some coverage. Reporters will be sure to capture the most provocative quotes from the most inflammatory speakers. Cameramen will seek out the most outlandishly dressed participants. And don’t forget the counter-demonstrators, who will get nearly equal billing even if they’re outnumbered by 1,000-to-1. But the main message will be largely ignored.

We all know the drill by now. The mainstream media give short shrift to conservative events. Why is this? I suggest there are two reasons.

  • The mainstream media are biased against conservatives. The evidence is so abundant, this should no longer be in any dispute.
  • Conservatives are invisible to most mainstream-media outlets. Seriously; I mean it. Reporters and editors have friends who participate in pro-abortion rallies, peace rallies, global-warming rallies, and Occupy Wall Street rallies. They don’t have friends who participate in pro-life rallies or Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies. They move in different social circles. So sometime just before noon today, dozens of assignment editors will suddenly sit up at their desks and say, “Oh, yeah, weren’t those people organizing something today? We should send somebody.” And some junior reporter will dutifully attend, wishing that the people on the platform were speaking in a language he could understand—not so much of this stuff about religion and family and freedom—and wishing too that he had been given a more important assignment, like commenting on what Kim Kardashian is wearing today.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Mar. 24, 2012 6:35 PM ET USA

    I saw this bias for the very first time during the last Presidential election and it soured me completely on ANY mainstream media outlet, paper, magazine etc. I only get my news from friendly sources. Thanks for CNW.