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The Herald-Times and Kinsey coverage

Written by Scott Tibbs for Hoosier Review, November 15, 2004

A movie on the life of "Dr." Alfred Kinsey will be opening soon. With the opening of this movie, groups like Focus on the Family are re-examining Kinsey's "research", which is closer to that of Nazi maniac Josef Mengele than real science.

But what this also brings to the forefront of my mind is the lack of journalistic integrity at the Herald-Times, the main newspaper in Bloomington, Indiana. Given the quality of reporting by the H-T, perhaps that paper should rename itself the al-Jazeera Herald-Times.

In 1997, I helped organize the "expose and close the Kinsey Institute" rally put together by Concerned Women for America. This drew about 100 people to downtown Bloomington to protest "Dr." Kinsey's "research". My report on the rally is here.

As could be expected, CWA was not welcomed by the Herald-Times, which editorialized against the rally. But it was the "reporting" on the rally where the real failure would be seen. As U.S. Senate candidate John Price was about to begin the invocation for the event, a pro-Kinsey protester was walking behind a group of CWA supporters. He screamed "F*** your prayer!" as loud as he could, directly into the ear of the woman who was standing in front of him. That woman happened to be the wife of radio talk show host Stan Solomon.

Naturally, Solomon reacted in defense of his wife. After all, the pro-Kinsey protester could have damaged Solomon's wife's hearing. Solomon got into the pro-Kinsey protester's face and made sure he knew in no uncertain terms that screaming profanities would not be tolerated.

But what did I see when I picked up the Herald-Times the next day? The front page had large full-color photo of Stan Solomon yelling at the pro-Kinsey protester. The Herald-Times did not mention the fact that the pro-Kinsey protester had screamed profanities into Mrs. Solomon's ear just moments before, or the fact that he had screamed profanities at all. The Herald-Times did, however, include the picture of Stan Solomon's reaction.

A friend once told me "a lie does not consist of the words you say, a lie consists of the message you convey". While the picture recounted an incident that actually happened, the message conveyed by the Herald-Times with that picture was a brazen lie. People who did not attend the rally got the impression from the Herald-Times that a CWA supporter was intimidating a counter-protester because that counter-protester expressed a different opinion. As you can see, nothing could be further from the truth.

Of course, the Herald-Times has not changed one bit in the seven years that have passed since they disgraced the profession of journalism by publishing such a pernicious lie. The story I recounted above is only one example of the "journalism" that the people of Bloomington and Monroe County have been subjected to over the years by this "newspaper".

There are, unfortunately, many other examples than the two I mentioned above. When the Herald-Times is not making mistakes (or slanting stories so that their reporting bears no resemblance to facts) they are being scooped by other newspapers. The Indiana Daily Student, for example, scooped the Herald-Times on two major stories last spring. Laziness, bias and incompetence dominate at 1900 South Walnut. While web sites like HoosierReview.com or BloomingtonAlternative.com can help people get the news they missed reading the H-T, only a second print newspaper can give the Herald-Times the competition it needs. The people of Monroe County can only hope that someone is able to provide an alternative print newspaper to the al-Jazeera Herald-Times, an alternative that will publish articles that seek to tell the truth.