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U.S. Conservatives Work Overseas? How DARE They?

By Warner Todd Huston

January 15, 2006

As if we needed more proof that the Main Stream Media is biased against Conservatives, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer recently published an article all alarmed that Conservative NGO’s (Non Government Agencies) were stepping up their activities overseas. This “news” article was so biased as to be laughable.


I wouldn’t be surprised if the article’s author, David Crary, is going around telling people he is a “journalist”, but you wouldn’t know it by this biased opinion editorial he is responsible for in the Seattle P-I. The article, Conservatives step up activities overseas, featured a quote from one pro-Conservative, but several quotes against Conservative NGO’s from four separate interviewees. How’s that for “balance”?


Instead of a factual presentation of the activities of U.S. conservatives overseas, we get a finger wagging, tsk-tsking, and a lot of overblown anti-Conservative rhetoric.


On top of that we see a total acceptance and usage of the left’s framing of the debate throughout the article. For instance, Conservatives are claimed to be “waging their culture war” and having “intimidated some foreign” groups while doing so. The article says that they are against “education”, and are against “liberalizing” laws. The article also says that the Bush administration is trying to “impose conservative social policies” with its foreign-aid policies.


While the leftist groups mentioned are said only to want to “empower women through education”, only want to assure “women’s rights” and help the poor of the world get “jobs”. And all at the same time they are being so wonderful as not to “expect to see the United Nations … or Western Europe change”. How enlightened of them, eh?


The discussion in this article is framed using strictly negative language to describe the Conservatives and their goals while framing the actions of the left all in honey and lightness.


Here is just how one paragraph gears the debate toward an anti-conservative agenda:


“Liberal activists believe long-term trends, notably the empowerment of women through education and jobs, work in their favor throughout much of the world. But they acknowledge that U.S. conservatives have gained clout overseas - and intimidated some foreign advocacy groups - because of their influence on Bush administration policies.”


Notice that the leftist groups only want “empowerment”, “education”, and “jobs” but the Conservatives are merely gaining “clout”, intimidating those poor “foreign advocacy groups” and all only because of the iron boot heel of “Bush administration policies.”


Why, we are led to believe by this article that these poor, but obviously better and more worthy liberal groups, are so beset by the power and grinding ambition of these evil Conservative groups that they are beside themselves with grief. In another part of the article, we are made to worry that "The far right says, 'Jump,' and the administration says, 'How high?'”.


Oh, the humanities.


In the article, Conservative groups were called “right-wing”, “far-right”, and the “religious-right” all framed in negative terms. Yet, there was a boringly common lack of such handles applied to the leftist groups. None of them were called “far-left”, “anti-religious”, or “left-wing”, for instance.


In fact, the only paragraph that shows any kind of balance is the quote from the lone Conservative advocate in the piece. Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America said:


"NGOs have tremendous power, but for so many years they have been the playground for the leftist activists…It's only been during the Bush administration that those of us from the right have had an opportunity to be on a level playing field."


Now that was balance. Both groups were labeled and no necessarily negative connotation was applied to either side.


After reading this article one cannot help but realize that the thrust behind the piece is that these Conservative groups are supposed to be coercive, mean-spirited, unwelcome and always in the wrong. The article treats the Conservative groups as insurgent organizations attempting to illegitimately undermine the natural order of things overseas.  And, when you actually analyze the piece, you’ll realize that this is exactly how these leftists, like author Crary, view Conservative groups.


To Crary and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, these Conservative groups aren’t legitimately attempting to advocate for their ideas using all legal and fair means available to them as their favorite NGO’s on the left do, but evil insurgents attempting to ruin all that is good. In this case, the “good” is abortion on demand, extreme leftism, anti-corporate and anti-capitalist sentiment, as well as anti-religious ideals.  NGOs that advocate such leftist ideology overseas have enjoyed a free reign and a nearly unlimited Federal budget in the past to spread their ideas and policies and, now that Conservatives are so belatedly entering the fray, they are lamenting their loss of dominance and power.


For me, though, the aftermath of reading this piece was that instead of feeling all sorry for these poor socialists, I was heartened that they felt so endangered.


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