Wisconsin media recently lost its mind when state Representative, Jesse Kremer, stated he believed that the Earth was 6,000 years old. Kremer, a devout Christian, based this belief on Biblical teachings, which maintain that the Earth was created by God 6,000 years ago.
Despite the fact that this is a religious belief, media outlets all over the State took the opportunity to mock a man choosing to stick to his religious convictions. Here’s the story on WTMJ 4 in Milwaukee.
PolitiFact Wisconsin, of course, had to join in on the fun:
At the outset, we have to get our sarcasm out of the way: thanks, Politifiact, for your sage wisdom on this highly complicated issue. What would we do without you . . .
Now, on to the bias. The media had a hey-day with this story mostly because it was an easy opportunity to feature a “backwards” Republican lawmaker, a stereotype that is often promulgated. In other words, this was an easy “pot shot” to delegitimize a conservative lawmaker. This is bias by commission.
The next bias is that of story selection. This is best explained by hypothetical: if Kremer had been a Muslim, a Taoist, or a Navajo, would the media be calling into question his beliefs on the age of the earth?
Would PolitiFact be telling us that it’s not fact that the Earth was an egg that hatched after sitting for 18,000 years? Doubtful. Why is it, then, that the media felt it wholly appropriate to criticize and mock a Christian for abiding by the teachings of his faith, even if those teachings may run afoul of modern science?
Certainly, there are times when faith and science become incongruous. Does that mean one in political life must sacrifice their faith or face media lambast?
Where, as here, the media intentionally features an “embarrassing” story featuring a person of one faith, but would otherwise refrain from targeting someone of a different faith, this is bias by story selection.