Mass Media Altering the Facts?

Dear Friends for Life:     Have you ever wondered how mass media goes about altering facts and truths? Why it is important for us to read with a critical mind? and not accept at face value what is written? Here are two clear examples which crossed my desk this morning.

imagesExample 1: “Time Magazine” was forced to apologize for not reporting accurately Pope Francis’ recent statements on abortion. Attempting to prepare the American people for the upcoming visit of Pope Francis, the magazine intentionally edited Pope Francis’ words which he spoke to a single mother who has two daughters.

Quote by Pope Francis: “I know it’s not easy to be a single mother. I know that people can sometimes look askance at you, but I’ll tell you one thing, you’re a brave woman because you’re capable of bringing these two daughters into the world. [You could have killed them inside your womb, and you respected life.] You respected the life you were carrying inside you, and God is going to reward you for that, and he does reward for you for that. Don’t be ashamed. Hold your head high. [“I didn’t kill my daughters. I brought them into the world.”] I congratulate you.

As edited by Time Magazine: “I know that people can sometimes look askance at you. You’re a brave woman because you’re capable of bringing these two daughters into the world. You respected the life you were carrying inside you and God is going to reward you for that and he does reward for you for that. Don’t be ashamed. I congratulate you.”

Problem: (a) Missing are the words “killing” when referring to abortion. (b) Published as a complete statement when it was intentionally altered.

NewsweekLogo-1Example 2: September 10 cover story in “Newsweek”. The article compares Pope Francis to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. It tries to show a conflict between the two men’s views on gay marriage.

But as Bill Donohue states in his comments for religious and civil rights: The comparison fails. Cordileone’s criticisms of gay marriage and Bruce-Caitlyn-Jenner are actually quite mild when contrasted to what the pope has said. Pope Francis has called gay marriage the work of “the Devil”. He has also warned against “gender ideology,” and attempts to “cancel out sexual difference.” In fact, he holds, “Gender ideology is demonic!”

Bill also stated: It is also false to claim that there is a difference between Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis on homosexuality. Both of them have expressed their allegiance to the Church’s teaching: the act of homosexuality is an “intrinsic moral evil.” Therefore, to rail against Cordileone for expecting Catholic teachers to uphold this teaching makes Newsweek look plainly stupid. It is just as dumb to say the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality.

Conclusion: Just how accurate is news reporting? Is there a tendency “to interprete news” rather than “to report news”? With today’s modern technology, it is really quite easy for us to check the facts. Open your computer and “search” the following: (a) Pope Francis statements on any topics including abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, etc. (b) or Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone‘s views on these same topics. (c) or Pope Benedict XVI on homosexuality. Then compare what you find to what is being reported in the media. You might be surprised! You might even discover the need for greater life-security and life-meaning by contemplating on Christ’s Words in face of man’s interpretations: “I am the Way, and the TRUTH, and the Life. “ It is safer to believe what we discover for ourselves. Look at the facts, look at Christ’s teachings when dealing with the Catholic Church and current social issues.

God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI

For more, view Catholic ProLife Website “Clear Thinking about crucial issues” by Fr. Jerry



(The Difference is LIFE) 

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”  – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn



Websites by Fr. Jerry


(English) Fr. Jerry’s Blog: Fighting for the Culture of Life


(Japanese) Fr. Jerry’s Blog: Human Rights: The Road to a Happy Life

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