Monday, September 14, 2015

The Atlantic exposes bad journalism of Fox News's Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is everything a journalist & Christian should never be.

One of the most fervent pushers of the lie that Christians are being persecuted in America is Fox News personality Todd Starnes. That mantra is all he pushes, so much so that at times he has been caught lying in order to further it.

From reading his articles and tweets, I don't like Todd Starnes. He is everything Christianity has no business being - spiritually ugly, a nasty, vindictive character who wraps his homophobia, racism, and xenophobia around the cross with the fervor of a hungry snake wrapping itself around bird.

Thank goodness, I am not the only one have raised questions about Starnes' journalism acumen and his tendency to lie. Jonathan Merritt just published a wonderful piece about Starnes in The Atlantic  entitled How Todd Starnes is Compromising Fox News's Credibility. Merritt deconstructs this awful man's history of bad journalism (including one which nearly got US Secretary of Education Ron Paige fired in 2003) and how it keeps him popular amongst Fox News viewers and readers:

If you want to find one of the greatest threats to Fox’s credibility, walk past Sean Hannity’s carefully powdered forehead and Megyn Kelly’s impeccably curled hair, and go deep inside NewsCorps’ Manhattan headquarters. There you’ll find Todd Starnes, a middle-aged man sitting at a difficult-to-find desk who hosts a radio podcast and web-only video show and occasionally pens opinion columns for He might appear unassuming, if vaguely familiar, but he is more influential and destructive than even Fox’s network executives may realize.

Fox News has a Todd Starnes problem. And while the network doesn’t seem to be concerned, perhaps it should be. Because Starnes has both a rapidly expanding platform and a long history of journalistic malfeasance.

 . . .  In January 2006—less than three years after Starnes was fired for misquoting the secretary of education—Fox News Radio hired him to work as overnight news anchor. But while his business cards changed, his behavior didn’t.

In April 2013, he reported that the Obama administration was engaging in a “Christian cleansing” by blocking military access to the website of his former employer, the Southern Baptist Convention. As it turns out, the denomination’s website was being blocked as Starnes reported, but not for the reasons he claimed. The site was merely blocked due to the detection of potential malware.

In September, Starnes reported that a proposed non-discrimination law in San Antonio would “force churches to have transgender bathrooms.” Politifact reviewed this claim and “found nothing in the law” to support it, which led to the website rating the claim as “false.”

In December 2013, Starnes reported that Veterans Administration hospitals in Texas and Georgia were guilty of anti-Christian bias because VA administrators had banned Christmas cards for patients. But blogger Alan Noble later investigated his claims and found that Starnes had deliberately omitted the portion of the VA statement that contradicted his thesis. According to the full statement, the hospitals simply asked their chaplaincy service to distribute religious-themed cards while the health care system distributed non-religious cards.

I suggest folks read the full article. Then they will understand why we shouldn't ignore people like Starnes. If we do, we are only writing our own epitaphs.

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1 comment:

BARAZION said...

Fox News has credibility?????