This Passes for Journalism In America

by Warren Smith

(AgapePress) – It could almost have been an April Fool’s Day joke, but it wasn’t. It is what passes for journalism in America.

60 Minutes aired a segment that said the Boy Scouts were hurting themselves — financially and in other ways — for not allowing men who are sexually attracted to other males to be Scout leaders. The commentator, Leslie Stahl, at one point blithely said “studies” proved homosexual men were no more likely to molest boys than heterosexual men.

Of course, no study was actually cited, and the statement ignores the fact that it is illogical on its face. A man who molests a boy is — by definition — performing a homosexual act. It is impossible for a man to molest a boy without engaging in homosexuality.

But such is the level of logical and scientific “proof” presented by the media on this issue. And it caused me to wonder: Is this whole debate something of a “straw man”? Is it possible that the Boy Scouts really are fear-mongering homophobes? Is it possible that the incidence of homosexual predation on boys is so rare that the whole point is moot?

To answer this question, I typed a few key words into our Associated Press search engine, which gives me all the stories on a particular topic in the past week. Here is a mere tip of the iceberg:

• Gabriel Mitchell, 26, a teacher at Collinsville High School in Collinsville, Illinois, was charged with possession of methamphetamine, resisting arrest, and sexual assault. Police said Mitchell is charged with having sex with a teen-age Jefferson County boy. Police said Mitchell led a double life, and that he had enough of the date-rape drug GBH in his possession when arrested to kill or incapacitate several people.

• Former students have sued exclusive Porter-Gaud School (in Charleston, South Carolina) about a former teacher who has admitted to molesting at least 40 students during his four-decade tenure in Charleston public and private schools. The new lawsuits come after last year's record $105 million verdict against the school for failing to stop Eddie Fischer, who assaulted boys at the school.

• A jury in Mobile, Alabama, convicted a former day care operator of sexually abusing two brothers, aged 6 and 7 at the time. While James McCullough, 26, was found guilty on the sex abuse charges, the jury acquitted him on four counts of first-degree sodomy. The two boys, now 12 and 13 years old, endured kissing and oral sex from McCullough beginning in 1994, said Assistant District Attorney Steve Giardini. Maintaining his innocence throughout the trial, McCullough said he is only guilty of a deep love for the children. The boys often stayed in McCullough's day care while their mother was away working in Mississippi casinos, witnesses testified.

• A former Las Vegas, Nevada, Little League coach was found guilty of 39 sex offenses against seven boys. Garen Pearson faces life in prison with parole possible after 20 years when he is sentenced May 25. His attorney, Clark County Deputy Public Defender Drew Christensen, conceded to the jury that his client engaged in a series of lewd acts with the boys. But, Christensen said the boys were never forced to engage in repeated acts of oral sex with Pearson and other children. However, Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Thomas Carroll described Pearson, who was arrested in 1999, as a man who deliberately put himself in positions of authority so that he could molest the children.

The list goes on and on and on. At least three times as many more as I have room for here — all in a single week. And these were just the ones that the Associated Press had the reporters to cover. It is by no means comprehensive.

What is my point in all of this? In part it is to say that our children need protecting, and that we adults need to be smarter, much smarter, than we have been about putting our children in situations that will do them permanent damage. This includes sending our boys off on remote camping trips with homosexual men. It is not homophobic to say this; it is common sense. And, of course, homosexuality is not the only common thread in the situations I cited above, or in the ones I did not include here. Latch-key parenting, and gambling, and single-parent households also played large roles.

But my other point is simply to say to folks like Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes — and those who are inclined to listen to and believe her — that the facts are in plain view. It takes more than sloppiness to cite mythical “studies,” all the while ignoring example after example right before our very eyes. This is flagrant, willful obfuscation of the truth for the most craven ideological purposes.

Now, will this quick look at the real world — this quick survey of “seven days in America” — help folks like Leslie Stahl see the truth? Probably not. But for the rest of us, at least we won’t have to be the media’s April fools.

(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)

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