Conservative commentary: Understanding the truth |

Conservative commentary: Understanding the truth

Gary Hofmeister

— I believe it was one of my idols, second president John Adams, who said that “every man is entitled to his opinion but not his own set of facts.” President Adams would be a very frustrated man today for so many in the media seem determined to fold, bend and mutilate the facts into what they want the public to believe even when they know it’s not the truth.

Can anything be more important than the truth? Lincoln said, “Tell the people the truth and the country will be saved.” I believe that. But do the media?

A few examples: if you happen to believe, as I do, that embryonic stem cell research should be banned, you are doubtless as frustrated as I am. The media constantly and falsely claim that President Bush is against “stem cell research” without identifying it as embryonic. They word their stories giving the impression that he is out to ban (or in fact has banned) this potential life-saving research against the advice of thousands of altruistic scientists and doctors. The fact is (1) Bush, and those pro-lifers amongst us, are strong supporters of stem cell research so long as it does not entail creating life to destroy life, which is precisely what embryonic research does. (2) Bush even supports government funding of such research through adult stem cell research and existing embryonic stem cell lines, although most of us realize that if there is great profit potential, there will always be private money to fund the research. (3) There have been dozens of patents filed from adult stem cell research but not one single one from embryonic. Why do the proponents mask this and demand that the public pay for the research?

Exhibit B would be the Terri Schiavo case. The media insisted on calling this woman “brain dead” or “in a vegetative state” when it was obvious to anyone who looked closely even at the still pictures, let alone the videos, of this woman that she recognized those around her with subtle smiles, tears, and expressive eyes. And yet a court demanded that she be starved and have even water withheld to make her die! I could not believe this was happening in America! Yes, we conservatives would normally not want the government to intervene in a private affair, but I would go so far as to call this plain murder. Her own family could not be allowed to take care of her because a court ruled that she must die. Virtually none of the media reported this story as it really was.

The final recent proof of the distortion of the news is the Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame case. It is undeniably true that there was no crime committed in releasing this woman’s name to the public as she was not a covert operative. Yet Democratic politicians from John Kerry to Harry Reid have intimated the opposite from day one to the present, knowing full well they were lying. Further, the persecution of Libby proceeded despite the prosecutor knowing almost from the beginning that it was a Bush critic Richard Armitage who divulged the information to columnist Robert Novak.

If you value the truth and honest debate and think it is despicable to repeat a known lie, you can empathize with our outrage. If you assume the American people are a bit stupid or unable to make their own decisions and judgments and thus must be given untruths to bend their analysis toward your own, you will be very happy with the way the “news” is presented. We’re not.