I would like to thank all of you and it’s great to be with you and to receive this award, I’m honored indeed. I am a journalist so it’s a little unusual for me to be here I guess, although a conservative journalist which is a kind of an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp or rap music, or my current favorite, the Senate Ethics Committee and that’s what I am and have been for a long time. I see some folks I’ve known for a number of years but it’s also some younger people and I’m very encouraged by that and to see this nice turnout and particularly for young folks. I’ve also said anybody who has his head screwed on right should be conservative when he’s young and as he grows older gradually become more conservative and that certainly has been my experience and I hope it will be yours.
I want to talk about media bias and properly and that’s mainly what Accuracy in Media has tried to deal with ever since Reed [Irvine] started it in 1969 and Don [Irvine], but you have to factor into this equation the incompetence. Don’t forget the incompetence, that’s huge and it interacts with the bias for exponential effect. A couple of examples—I see some members of our board at the NJC, National Journalism Center and many graduates here, Pete Labarbera, Cliff Kincaid and some others. One of our members on the board at the NJC is a good friend Pat Korten who used to be the morning anchor on WTOP radio, a very fine, professional broadcaster and he told me a story and I was afraid to check it because it was so good, I was scared it would turn out to be false but I did check it and he swears it’s true. This was back in 1994 and Pat was traveling around somewhere in the Midwest—Peoria, Illinois or someplace and it was the 50th anniversary of D-Day, the landing of Normandy. I remember I was just a kid but I remember it was the 50th anniversary. Reagan went over there and others went later and there was a young lady who was reading a news account of this on a teleprompter in this town wherever Pat was visiting and referred to World War Eleven which suggested to me that maybe we’re not teaching history very well in our schools and are obviously not teaching Latin although you would think that after all these Super Bowls we would know something about roman numerals, but apparently not and that’s the story.
I have another anecdote. This I witnessed myself although it may be a hallucination. I imagined that I saw this as the years go by. I’m not real sure about some of these things, but anyway this was again in the ‘90s. I was watching one of the cable channels, I won’t name which one, it was a financial news channel. At least, it was supposed to be and there’s a talk show there and I was trying to find out what had happened to my stocks which were bad even then, and there was nice looking young couple of co-anchors, a man and a woman conducting this show and it was an interview show and I don’t know why these guests were on a financial channel but they were, and they came on and they were interviewed by the co-anchors and they were two cross dressers. Now, I thought a cross-dresser was the same as a transvestite, the words mean the same thing but it’s different. You might want to write that down, not the same thing at all, I learned that from this show. A transvestite is trying to look like a woman and a cross-dresser is just a guy wearing a dress. These guys were wearing dresses in the interview. For the Washingtonians here, you’re familiar with a group called the Hogettes? These are big fat men who are Redskins fans and put on a dress and go out to the ballpark and root for the Redskins. What is that all about? A cry for help, I don’t know. Whatever that is, these cross-dressers were kind of like that. You would not mistake them for women. Some of you may remember the Bud Light commercials where the guys dress up like women to get a free beer on ladies night, except they had moustaches, so these guys were kind of like that, you would not mistake them for women. There they are being interviewed on this talk show and I’m watching this and they’re talking about why they do this. Overall it made them feel better about themselves and more comfortable in women’s clothes, and their purses, and their wigs and it really sounded kind of good, a very positive thing to do. One of the co-anchors are respectively interviewing these people decides to ask an incisive journalistic question and that was, is there any downside to this very positive cross-dressing experience? And one of the guys says yeah there is, sometimes when you’re in a bar weirdos will come on to you. What? What? Who would this guy consider to be a weirdo? I thought why is this on my television set? Why is this being shown to me? And I realized I was complicit, I was an enabler because I was watching it.
So you got to factor that into the mix also Don, it’s just not the bias, it’s just not the incompetence, the weirdness, whatever, I don’t know. So these are the things that suggested maybe our media are not living up to the highest standards of journalistic excellence and that’s why we need Accuracy in Media and the great work that Reed Irvine did and has been done subsequently by Don and West Vernon and the Accuracy in Academia folks also Mal Kline. I see a lot of folks here that have been working on these problems for a number of years and it’s urgently needed.
The former editor of The Indianapolis News, M. Stanton Evans is the founder of the National Journalism Center as well as the author of more than a half dozen books including Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies.