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Thursday, February 15, 2007
WND Tells One-Sided Story on Hate Crimes Bill
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh features unsupported and unchallenged attacks against a proposed congressional "hate crimes" bill. The beginning of Unruh's article sets the tone, under the headline "Diss a 'gay'? Go to jail!":

Two Christians in Australia have been indicted for criticizing Islam, and another for criticizing Zionism. A filmmaker has been threatened with arrest for using the word "homosexual" rather than "gay." Now a German priest faces jail time for publicly criticizing abortionists, and in Holland, "fornicators" and "adulterers" are protected classes and cannot be criticized.

All courtesy of the concept of federal "hate crimes" legislation, which unless defeated soon could be mandatory in the United States, warns a rising chorus of critics.

Throughout the article, Unruh allows the bill to be characterized and disparaged by its critics. Nowhere does Unruh offer an objective description of the bill or allow its proponents to speak for it.

Unruh features as an opponent of the bill Michael Marcavage of the anti-gay group Repent America, who makes the unsupported claim that "Truth is not allowed as evidence in hate crimes trials." Unruh later notes that "some of [Repent America's] members already have served jail time simply for proclaiming the biblical message" (italics his). This is presumably a reference to the group members' arrest for disrupting a gay event in Philadelphia (charges that were later dropped), which WND turned into a cause celebre. As we've detailed, WND's reporting on the issue was slanted and failed to tell the full version of events -- that Marcavage (carrying a bullhorn) and his protesters staged their demonstration in front of a stage at the event, in the middle of a performance, and refused an order to go to an area on the edge of the event. Not exactly the simple "proclaiming the biblical message" that Unruh portrayed it.

UPDATE: Similarly, another Feb. 15 WND article claiming that "lawyers are arguing whether the words 'natural family, marriage and family values' constitute 'hate speech' " tells only the anti-gay side of the story. Further, WND does not disclose that attorney and repentant tattoo bearer Richard Ackerman, one of the attorneys for the anti-gay side, once represented WND, let alone that WND pimped Ackerman's defense against charges that he filed frivolous lawsuits against Planned Parenthood.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:53 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 15, 2007 6:38 PM EST

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