The Leader endorses Parshall

Nearly 1,300 words about hatemonger Janet Parshall in Saturday’s News Leader, and the only thing the staff writer could come up with as being even the slightest bit critical is that “not everyone agrees” with her to-the-right-of-Himmler stances on abortion, gay rights and faith, family and freedom.

“When Janet Parshall speaks, people listen,” gushed staff writer Heather Keys in the 1,228-word piece covering Parshall’s recent keynote speech at a Valley Family Forum fundraiser, not once, mind you, but twice.

Keys, whose future is in public relations and not in journalism, positively glowed in Parshall’s presence. “‘I asked God to send me to a foreign mission field and he did,” she quoted the radio host as having said “with a half-smile,” something she must have learned in Setting the Scene class in school “He sent me to Washington. I’m a war correspondent from Babylon,” Keys quoted Parshall.

Cue the Knee Slap Guffaw Machine here.

More utter BS from this report.

– “Parshall spoke against gay marriage and homosexuality, referring to it as a perversion of the family structure. She argued hate crime legislation is wrong because she thinks it violates a clergyman’s right to speak the true word of God. “There is a linkage between hate crimes and hate speech. I know a pastor who is guilty of hate crimes because he told God’s whole truth,” Parshall said. “The object of disdain in hate crimes is the pulpit.”

How can a newspaper report this without the obvious followup? Name the pastor, ma’am, give us something in terms of details. And actually, make it a lot in terms of details. Otherwise, we’re calling BS.

– “Parshall also blasted the Obama Administration for its policies that are moving the country away from its Christian roots.”

Again, we’re going to need specifics. And in this case, we might want to solicit a comment from somebody offering a countering perspective. Or as a paper, we’re saying, Yeah, we agree.

– “Informative, insightful and inspiring were the words most used to describe Parshall’s speech.”

Maybe by the minions at the Valley Family Forum. Others might use different words. “Small-minded, hateful, plain dumb” might be among those other descriptions.

I’m not interested in flogging Heather Keys here any more than I already have. My guess is she’s a college student interning for the summer, and an editor sent her out to the event and didn’t give her much direction outside of “come back with something,” and she came back with something as she was asked to do.

If I’m her, I’m asking the paper to please, please remove the story from the website so it’s not hanging around out there in cyberspace when I go out to apply for a real job. That or please, please, please take my name off the story. Pretty please?

The tongue-lashing here goes to the editor who decided that this copy was strong enough to merit 1,228 words in a paper that has a hard time giving you 400 on stories that matter like ones involving local-government spending or local economic activity or the like. That person should not only be sacked but should be blacklisted from working in a position of authority in a newsroom ever again.


– Column by Chris Graham

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