For the 'Poor, Uneducated and Easy to Command' File

In a front-page article in the Washington Post in 1993, reporter Michael Weisskopf quipped that Christian conservatives were "largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command."

Of course, that's utter malarkey, but even when well-educated Christian conservatives serve in high offices in the federal government, they don't fare much better in the liberally biased media, particularly if they graduated from Regent University, an accredited private graduate school founded by [gasp] Pat Robertson.

Take CBS's Andrew Cohen. The legal analyst/blogger who recently argued that Alberto Gonzales may well be the nation's worst Attorney General ever, picked up on a Boston Globe article to turn his anti-Gonzales drumbeat into a swipe at Bush political appointees who hail from evangelical Christian circles:

In an excellent piece well worth reading, the Boston Globe on Sunday framed the issue in terms of what reporter Charlie Savage called "the administration's hiring of officials educated at smaller, conservative schools with sometimes marginal academic reputations." One of these "officials" was Monica Goodling, who helped coordinate the firings of the prosecutors, left her position on Good Friday, and signed her resignation mash note to Gonzales by asking God to "bless him richly" as he continues to swirl down the tubes in Washington. Like many of her former colleagues at Justice, Savage reports, Goodling is a graduate of Regent University School of Law, an institution founded by Pat Robertson which was ranked years ago as the 136th-best law school in the country (and there aren't many more below it on the scale).

No matter. According to Savage: [I]n 2001, the Bush administration picked the dean of Regent's government school, Kay Coles James , to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management -- essentially the head of human resources for the executive branch. The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni." And coming through those doors to the Justice Department, writes Savage, have been ideologically conservative attorneys who are willing and eager to change constitutional law to reflect what the dean of Regent told Savage were "eternal principles of justice." You get the idea. Read Savage piece if you want to comprehend the scope of the goal here by the White House and the Attorney General's office.

[...]

Where the Department once was staffed by some of the best and brightest lawyers in the nation, now it has become a repository for the Monica Goodlings of the world. If you were a dedicated federal prosecutor, a Bush appointee, would you want some younger lawyer from some fourth-rate law school determining your future? You wouldn't. And yet that's precisely what happened here to our Gang of Eight.

Ah, intellectual snobbery at its best. Goodling must be a moron since: she works for the Bush administration, she didn't go to a top-ranked school, and her alma maters (Messiah for undergrad, Regent for law) are evangelical Christian in nature and mission. This is standard fare for snarky liberal blogs, but elitist pablum for a blog hosted on a major newspaper's Web site.

Of course, this is the same newspaper whose chief editorial cartoonist portrays Gonzales as a bumbling moron in today's paper.

As this May 17, 2001 column by NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell illustrates, the mainstream media's harsh treatment of conservative Christians in the Justice Department is hardly new.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters