Gaddy Praises Report on Conservative Religious Bias

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Washington, D.C. – On this weekend’s “State of Belief,” The Interfaith Alliance Foundation’s show on Air America Radio, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy praises a new Media Matters report that details a conservative religious bias throughout major media outlets.  The study found that conservative religious leaders are mentioned, quoted and interviewed almost three times as often as progressive or moderate religious leaders.

 

“The voices of American religion are much more comprehensive than Tony Perkins attacking homosexuals, James Dobson using religion to build support for the Iraq occupation, or Jim Wallis announcing the number of verses in the Bible that address poverty,” says Rev. Gaddy.  “To be sure, the media’s focus on every one of the persons I have named makes a contribution to the public’s understanding of religion—but it is not enough!”

 

Rev. Gaddy says that this lack of diversity of religious leaders leads the media to paint an inaccurate portrait of American religion.  A member of the World Economic Forum, Rev. Gaddy recounts a story where he asked a group of Forum leaders whom they considered the most important American religious leader. 

 

“Of course, their responses were based on the glimpses of American religion they get through American media,” he says.  “George Bush was named as the top American religious leader!  He was followed by the late Jerry Falwell and the always-good-for-an-astounding comment Pat Robertson.  How does that strike you?  It bothers the heck out of me.”

 

Also on the show: Paul Waldman, senior fellow at Media Matters on his report detailing the conservative religious bias in the media; Rev. Debra Haffner, director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Justice, Morality, and Healing offering her perspective on the Media Matters report; and Hannah Elliot, assistant editor of Associated Baptist Press on the elimination of religion sections from major newspapers.