Tuesday, July 27, 2004

One of the Nails in CBS News' Coffin

Way Off Bass blogged recently about journalists living in fear. I'm certain CBS is still trembling over my scathing response to their "special report" about homeschoolers that aired last October. For public consumption, here's what I sent:

Vince Gonzales' "Home Schooling Nightmares" report demonstrates, once again, why network news organizations are powerless to provide truly in-depth coverage of important issues facing our country today.

It apparently galls Mr. Gonzales and his producers no end that homeschoolers prefer to work in an environment where government bureaucracies have little or no effect on their lives. Worse still, the idea that child abuse exists regardless of whether people homeschool does not appear anywhere on Mr. Gonzales' radar. Tsk, tsk. In the cases mentioned in his report, Mr. Gonzales failed to mention that perhaps, just perhaps, these people would have abused their children no matter what the circumstances. Homeschool just gave Mr. Gonzales a modus operandi upon which to grasp.

Child abuse is, of course, a pernicious evil that cannot be tolerated in any form. However, all Mr. Gonzales did with his report is create yet more suspicion and intolerance of a practice that powerful political forces have never been able to quell. The NEA and all its affiliated unions tremble at the thought of all that money they can't get their hands on (even though homeschoolers still pay their fair share of taxes. Go figure). Homeschoolers are at the top of their "Most Wanted" lists.

Mr. Gonzales cannot shoulder all of the blame here, of course. One must recognize the problems inherent with providing a "special report" that gets squeezed in with other choice tidbits in a half-hour format, give or take commercial interruptions. For one thing, I'm sure CBSNEWS editors were careful to strip the report bare of any salient facts before allowing it to air. One wonders just how many hours of material were compressed into a two-part 10 minute report.

Also, let us not forget the producers who wisely chose to show the tag line "Homeschooling" while claiming to be a report of child abuse under the cover of homeschooling, thereby indelibly impressing upon viewers the idea that homeschooling must be bad.

By the way, have I thanked you for allowing Mr. Rather to utter a few grudging token words about homeschooling "successes?" Thank goodness they win the occasional spelling bee, or they'd have no success stories at all!

I'm certain homeschoolers across the country today can breathe much easier knowing that government agencies will soon be banging on their doors demanding to know just how many ways they abuse their children. This, of course, is apart from the jeers, taunts, and general misunderstandings of neighbors, friends, extended family members, and co-workers who will undoubtedly wave Mr. Gonzales' report in their faces as fresh fodder in their war against unholy homeschooling.

Forgive me if I sound bitter. I realize that many broadcast journalists have success stories to tell. Some may even have won a spelling bee or geography bee or two, although probably not since graduating from college. However, we are forced to wonder just how many unregulated journalists are, in fact, abusing their children. For one thing, they probably constantly make them sit and listen to their parents' insipid reports.


Anonymous said...

Well! Now I know what your secret home schooling agenda really is. It's amazing, the things I've learned since you and your brother took up blogging. It's entirely possible that I will never voluntarily turn on the news, or re-start the newspaper. I feel myself getting cynical -- how could that possibly be?! Help! ncw

Anonymous said...

Way to stick it to the man, Big Bro!

Anonymous said...

Well, we're beginning home schooling this year, and my plan is to just quietly let my children grow up to be (descent) doctors and lawyers. The DCFS doesn't even need to know.

Anyone waiving reports in my face will soon lose the use of the opposable thumbs with which they grasp the pages. It won't be the children being abused!

DB (AKA Da Bruiser)

Woody said...

Um, Bruiser? Wasn't this the same fate you said would befall potential suitors of your daughters? I'm nearly certain it had something to do with cleaning your firearm in a deliberate fashion...

Anonymous said...

Uhhhh...yeeeah. Cleeeaning. That's the ticket!