Sessions blasts national media

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2004

MARION — Among his many travels around the nation and Alabama, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions does find a bit of time to watch TV. Problem is, there’s not a lot the Senator and his wife, Mary, enjoy watching these days.

“It’s gotten so bad my wife won’t even watch Bill O’Reilly,” Sessions joked during a stop at Judson College on Thursday.

As part of his tour around West Alabama, Sessions told a small audience in Marion that the media’s role in America’s war on terrorism has become disgustingly divisive.

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“You almost have to take Rolaids just to watch television today,” he said. “There are some real jerks out there, and I think it’s an unhealthy thing that our media is as negative as it is [about this war.]”

As Sessions put it, members of the national media — including news magazines and TV networks — have committed themselves to making this war a controversy.

“To them, everything has to be catastrophic; like it’s the end of the world,” the Senator said.

More disheartening, to Sessions, is that members of the media don’t always focus on the truth during their coverage of the war.

“I have not found them to be accurate in many ways,” Sessions said. “Their entire goal is to make you angry.”

At the same time, Sessions knows there are some who can’t get enough of the war.

“In a sense, they’ve created junkies,” he said. “Maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but what they’re doing is very scientific in the way they pull people in.”

While talking at the all-women’s Southern Baptist college in Marion, Sessions took the media’s adverse affect on the nation even further.

“This is a period of a very weir, secularization of America,” he said. “It comes straight out of Hollywood — from the West coast to the East coast, from New York to Los Angeles.”

Sessions even pointed to academia as a concern in that secularization.

“People that have become the leaders of our universities have become hostile toward the religious faith,” he said.

To combat the trend in education toward a more worldly view, Sessions believes it’s paramount that people of faith understand the arguments of today’s society.

“You must be active in the intellectual battle of today,” he said. “Culturally, you views are not being confirmed by our media.”

Though Sessions expressed concerns about the humanistic views of society, he also believes many churches have responded to the backlash.

“I see a lot of powerful churches out there,” he said. “People are going to church because they want to. In my generation, it was an understood. You just went to church. Today, though, people are making that choice.”

While Sessions believes American culture faces a crucial stretch, he doesn’t necessarily have to put up with it on a personal level.

“Me and my wife, we watch the Food Channel,” he said.