When “Reality” TV Tries to Alter the Reality of You

Here’s a sad story about a family participating in an segment of ABC’s PrimeTime Live . The segment was supposedly about different family dynamics, comparing and contrasting them. But it seems ABC’s “journalist” (I refuse to use this term without the quotation marks, considering their tactics) had already made up her mind about these families, and tried to make them play into the ugly caricatures she had in her own head.

A “typical Roman Catholic family,” the Farinholts, was deceived into participating without realizing that they were being “set up” as anti-homosexual bigots.

Ahhhh, prime-time “journalism.”

Listen to what the Susan Farinholt says about “journalist” Cynthia McFadden: (I added the bold print.)

During the interview … [Cynthia McFadden, one of the anchors of “Primetime Live”] “kept trying over and over again to get us to say that we think [the homosexual couple is] going to hell, that we think that we’re better than them.

“We kept making it clear we don’t believe that. We can’t know what is in a person’s heart and what’s between them and God,” said Farinholt.

However, Farinholt said McFadden would “come back again: ‘I’ve done research on your faith, and you say that if you commit a mortal sin, then you’re going to hell.’ And my husband made it very clear that if you repent, you’re not.

“She just kept going back to it,” said Farinholt. “‘OK, we’ve got two unrepentant homosexuals here, so you’re saying that they’re going to hell.’ She kept trying to leave it at that.”

Hmm.

“Research.” Well, if by “research” McFadden means she watched Jerry Falwell bash homosexuals and thus concluded that all Christians are self-righteous bigots, then… wow. Sounds like McFadden’s report is nothing more than a spectacular exhibition of her own religious bigotry and ignorance … in front of an audience that includes many Christians who will sit there and shake their heads in bewilderment at her audacity.

It reminds me of the way that Christian youth group leaders used to tell me that rock and roll music was evil because rock stars were all evil Devil worshippers. And how did they know this? Because they’d read some stories about one or two rock stars who sang some spectacularly bad songs about the devil and performed some lewd acts onstage. It’s like doing a character assassination on Bono because Jim Morisson was a rock and roll star too, and thus, aren’t all rock-and-roll stars womanizing, hedonistic, drug-addicted, self-absorbed, nihilistic bastards?

Reminds me of when I was dumped from an interview appointment on a rival network to ABC recently. They’d wanted me to do the interview because I was a Christian film critic, but they dumped me when I realized I wasn’t going to play the angry “culture warrior” bashing Hollywood for immorality. They may as well have told me, “No, we don’t actually want to hear from a Christian. We only want to hear from a bigot and and extremist calling himself a Christian. Because that’s what we want our audience to think Christians are really like.” A freakshow, that’s what “journalists” like McFadden want. That’s what’ll get them ratings. Don’t give audiences the real thing, because that gives the impression that people of Christian faith might have some integrity.

Why do “journalists” like McFadden need to ask Christians’ opinions about anything, if they’re just going to try and force us to play judgmental, legalistic, intolerant idiots? Why even raise the question “Is the media anti-religion?” when so many in “the media” openly strive to pigeonhole Christians at every turn? Heck, why not just start “The Anti-Religion Show” and send reporters out to corner, humiliate, and show more intolerance for Christians… and then self-righetously tut-tut on-camera over the Christians‘ “lack of tolerance”?

What a joke.

When is someone going to do a PrimeTime Live segment revealing the brutish tactics of arrogant and intolerant prime time “journalists”?

God bless the Farinholts for standing firm and testifying about God’s grace when put on the spot.

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