Craig James takes on bias against religious conservatives at — uh — Fox Sports

One of the most interesting discussions that I have with journalism students every semester is the moment when I ask them to identify the specific cultural and political philosophy that drives the editorial policies of Fox News and other giants associated with the world of Rupert Murdoch. 

They always say, "Conservative" or "right wing."

Then I ask them this question: "What kind of conservatism?"

At that point there is silence. The same thing happens when I ask them to tell me the difference between, let's say, Rush Limbaugh and the Rev. Mike Huckabee. Once again, most students simply blink and keep saying "conservative."

The answer, of course, is that Murdoch, like Limbaugh, is best described as a Libertarian conservative and, in particular, is not known for consistent, thoughtful (cough, cough) defense of conservative stands on moral and cultural issues. 

This brings me to a very interesting "Got news?" story, once again from Baptist Press, that should be interesting to watch -- if and when it receives major coverage in the mainstream press. Here is the top of the BP report:

DALLAS (BP) -- College football analyst Craig James has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against Fox Sports alleging he was fired from a broadcasting position because of his Christian belief that homosexuality is sinful.
"This case is much bigger than me," James said according to a press release from Liberty Institute, the Christian legal organization representing him. "It affects every person who holds religious beliefs. I will not let Fox Sports trample my religious liberty. Today, many people have lost their jobs because of their faith. Sadly, countless are afraid to let their bosses know they even have a faith. This is America and I intend to make sure Fox Sports knows they aren't above the law."
After being hired by Fox Sports Southwest in 2013, James, a former NFL running back, worked one game and then was fired. A redacted copy of the lawsuit posted online by Liberty Institute states, "When James asked, Defendants identified one -- and only one -- reason for terminating James: his beliefs about marriage, which are explicitly religious in nature."
Eric Shanks, president of Fox Sports, said in a 2014 deposition that James' on-air performance had nothing to do with the decision to terminate him.
In response to James' firing, a Fox Sports spokesman told the Dallas Morning News in 2013, "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements [about homosexuality] would play in our human resources department. He couldn't say those things here."

Wait! Here is an early report from The Washington Post. Let's see if it draws the attention of others in mainstream. Please leave URLs if you see any.

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