Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Katie Couric Loves the Religious Right

From Media Matters:

In response to Pennsylvania school shooting, CBS' "Free Speech" featured Columbine father attacking evolution, abortion

In introducing the "Free Speech" segment of the October 2 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric noted that because of the school shooting that day in Paradise, Pennsylvania, "we've decided to hold the 'Free Speech' we had planned to bring you. Instead, we've called on someone who knows all too well the pain the families in Lancaster County are feeling tonight." But, as the weblog Think Progress noted, the segment featured Brian Rohrbough, father of one of the students killed in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, who -- rather than talking about "the pain of the families," as Couric indicated -- proceeded to blame school shootings on evolutionary theory being taught in public schools and on abortion.

From the October 2 broadcast of the CBS Evening News:

COURIC: Because of the tragedy in Pennsylvania, we've decided to hold the "Free Speech" we had planned to bring you. Instead, we've called on someone who knows all too well the pain the families in Lancaster County are feeling tonight. Brian Rohrbough lost his son Dan in the Columbine massacre, and we asked him to share his thoughts.

ROHRBOUGH: I'm saddened and shaken by the shooting at an Amish school today and last week's school murders [in Bailey, Colorado]. When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting. Since that day, I tried to answer the question, "Why did this happen?"

This country is in a moral freefall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences. And life has no inherent value. We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong, and I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children. Suicide has become an acceptable action and has further emboldened these criminals. We're seeing an epidemic increase in murder/suicide attacks on our children.

Sadly, our schools are not safe. In fact, we now witness that within our schools, our children have become a target of terrorists from within the United States.

COURIC: The reflections tonight of Brian Rohrbough, whose son Dan was killed at Columbine. And coming up next, a look inside a world most of us never see, the private world of the Amish.

This is the letter I sent to Ms. Couric:

Ms. Couric,

Your decision to have a grieving father share his feelings about the killings in the Amish school was a good idea. Why didn't we see that piece?

What we did see was a far right religious believer condemn the Constitution, science, and freedom as the causes for the killings of children by madmen. I believe he is hurting, and that he is angry, and that he needs to blame something. However, this does not constitute an opinion worthy of inclusion on the network news. Where is fair and impartial?

The only way you can right this wrong is to have a segment featuring a historian who can talk about all the killings that have been committed in the name of whichever god was favored at the time.

This is simply another in a long line of conservative speakers you have invited on your show. Perhaps you would be more at home at Fox News?

William Harryman
Tucson, AZ

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