Ann Arbor

False balance: As New York Times reports on divided campuses, only left has 'real' concerns

False balance: As New York Times reports on divided campuses, only left has 'real' concerns

In the wake of Donald Trump's stunning election as president, the political divide between right and left has hardened on campuses nationwide, the New York Times reports.

At first glance, the Times seems to put aside Kellerism for a day and provide an evenhanded account of what college-age Republicans and Democrats are feeling and saying.

The Old Gray Lady even opens with an anecdote featuring a young Trump supporter:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Amanda Delekta, a sophomore at the University of Michigan and political director of the College Republicans, was ecstatic when her candidate, Donald J. Trump, won the presidential election.
But her mood of celebration quickly faded when students held an evening vigil on campus — to mourn the results — and her biology teacher suspended class on the assumption, Ms. Delekta said, that students would be too upset to focus.
She was outraged. “Nobody has died,” Ms. Delekta said. “The United States has not died. Democracy is more alive than ever. Simply put, the American people voted and Trump won.”
She circulated an online petition and accused the university president of catering to the liberal majority by suggesting that “their ideology was superior to the ideology of their peers,” as she put it, when he sent out an email publicizing the vigil and listing counseling resources for students upset by the election. Three days later, she was invited to meet with the president in his office.

But read a little closer, and the piece's "balance" becomes less impressive.

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Revving Motor City's front-page engines with a pistol-packing priest and concealed-carry Catholics

Revving Motor City's front-page engines with a pistol-packing priest and concealed-carry Catholics

When a Catholic priest urges parishioners to pack heat and asks a woman afraid of guns, "Well, how do you feel about rape?" it's probably no surprise when he makes the front page.

Such is the case with the Rev. Edward Fride, a Michigan clergyman featured on Page 1 of the Detroit Free Press the last two days.

The lede on the Detroit newspaper's original story:

An Ann Arbor Catholic priest has urged his parishioners to arm themselves and attend classes at Christ the King parish to earn a concealed pistol license (CPL).
In a letter sent to Christ the King parishioners recently, the Rev. Edward Fride explained why he believed it was necessary to get concealed pistol licenses because of recent crime in the area. During a Palm Sunday mass last month, Fride announced that the parish would be holding the CPL class.
When some parishioners questioned the decision, Fride sent out a pro-gun letter titled "We're not in Mayberry Anymore, Toto" – a reference to the 1960s-era Andy Griffith Show and its portrayal of a fictional North Carolina town, as well as Dorothy's dog from the Wizard of Oz.
"It is very common for Christians to simply assume that they live in Mayberry, trusting that because they know the Lord Jesus, everything will always be fine and nothing bad can happen to them and their families," Fride wrote.
"How to balance faith, reality, prudence, and trust is one of those critical questions that we struggle with all our lives. Pretending we are in Mayberry, while we are clearly not, can have very negative consequences for ourselves and those we love, especially those we have a responsibility to protect. If we are not in Mayberry, is there a real threat?"

News of the gun classes did not please Fride's bishop.

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KKK hoods, 'two angels' and a frustrating ghost

It’s a “where are they now” story that I was intrigued to read, since I had missed the first installment back in 1996. The 2013 update promised drama, forgiveness, lessons learned and perhaps racial reconciliation. Oh, and as a bonus: a faith element.

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