Several Facebook friends were wondering about this recently, and then this item popped up in my feed.
While I’m not convinced there is overt bias against Christians or Christianity — my experience in the news business tells me otherwise — I do think much of what Thomas Williams says here is spot on:
Since, in point of fact, Muslim radicals kill Christians around the world with alarming frequency, it is probable that one more slaughter did not seem particularly newsworthy to the decision-makers at major news outlets. Muslims being killed, on the other hand, may strike many as newsworthy precisely because it is so rare.
A second motive for the media silence around the massacre of Christians in Nigeria may be geo-political and racial. New Zealand is a first-world country where such things are not supposed to happen, whereas many people still consider Africa to be a backwards place where brutal killings are par for the course.
Moreover, the slaughter of black Christians in Africa may not enkindle rage among westerners the way that the murder of white and brown Muslims in New Zealand would.
Finally, the story simply does not play to the political agenda that many mainstream media would like to advance. How much mileage can be gained from Muslims murdering Christians, when Christians in America are often seen as an obstacle to the “progress” desired by liberals? The left sees Christians in the United States as part of the problem and seeks to undermine their credibility and influence at every turn rather than emboldening them.
Anti-Christian bias has been rightly called “the last acceptable prejudice,” one that few bother condemning.
“No one much cares about offending Christians,” wrote the coalition of African-American pastors in an essay last Tuesday. “In fact, mocking, belittling, and blaspheming Christianity is becoming a bit of a trend in our culture. Anti-Christian bigotry truly is the last acceptable prejudice.”
“The hypocrisy on display is astounding,” the pastors continued. “Christianity is the dominant religion of our country. It is the foundation of our government and morality. And yet, Christians are treated as fair game for mockery and insult.”
There is also the inconvenient truth that more and more American news outlets are covering less and less foreign news. They don’t have the money or the manpower — and the prevailing wisdom among many editors is that news consumers aren’t really interested in things happening beyond our borders. It’s been this way for a while. I don’t see that changing any time soon.