It’s All in the First Amendment


Freedom of the Religion and Freedom of the Press, all in the glorious First Amendment. The two may be becoming one in Waco.

We subscribe to the Waco Tribune-Herald. A local family recently bought the trib from the Cox company, which had owned the trib for 33 years. The new chairman, Clifton Robinson, wrote a piece for the Trib on August 1 reflecting on his new toy, er, business.  He tells us:

Change is the byword of our modern society, and such is the case of the Trib. It’s time for a change, and hopefully our values and opinions will be well received by our advertisers and readers. It will come about slowly but surely with the first change being printed on this paper’s front page, where it will remain during the tenure of our ownership: In God we trust.

So, the number one change to be made is to add “In God we trust” to the masthead of the paper.  You can see the volley of comments this brought to their blog.

The following day, son Gordon, added this:

The biggest imprint that my father and I can have on this newspaper will not come on the news page, but on our opinion page.

Gordon goes on to spell out that they want to bring “more conservative” opinions and columnists to the Trib.

Interestingly, the Robinsons haven’t used words like “fair,” “balanced,” or “objective” in telling us their new plans for teh local paper.  Rather, they ahve imblazened their trust in God on page 1, and promised to make the paper more conservative.

There are all kinds of perspectives on adding “In God we trust” to things.  Honestly, when I see these words, I cannot help but wonder in which god it is trust is put.  The motto was added to U.S. coins primarily “because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War.”

Could the Robinson’s be detecting increased religious sentiment among the readership of the Trib?

7 thoughts on “It’s All in the First Amendment

  1. I have no real comment on the new buyers or on the addition of ‘In God We Trust’ to the front of the paper. What I will comment on is Cox. The Waco Trib is probably more liberal than the Austin American Statesman, which is saying something.
    It would be hard to NOT make the Trib more conservative.

  2. Steve,
    So you’re making the assumption that the owners are doing this to appease or at least attract a certain readership base? Possibly. In an era when many newspapers are struggling for survival, I certainly can’t rule it out.
    However I also can’t rule out that for the owners, it’s a simple statement of faith. They may not mean the same thing as when you, or I make that statement. But that occurs in the church every Sunday doesn’t it? You have people nod their heads in aggreement, but you know you aren’t on the same page. That doesn’t make them not sincere. So are you more concerned about the printing of “in god we trust” or their intent to make the paper more conservative (what ever that means)? Or is it the link they seem to be makign between the two?

    • This is why I backed off of being as critical as I at first intended to be.

      I am concerned at both, actually, but I suppose the link between the two most concerns me. It used to be (or perhaps it used to seem to me to be) that self-understood conservatives wanted to bring a fairer, more “objective” voice to news. That there is now the intent to bring a more conservative voice interests me. Is it more honest or more slanted?

  3. Steve,
    This post strikes at the heart of the modernist lie of objectivity. All news is presented from a particular perspective, or worldview. There is no such thing as ‘unbiased’ news. Perhaps, this is a good thing IF people/media will be able to realise this reality.
    It is not unlike when people say they ‘aren’t religious.’ I find it so comical that anyone could believe that about themselves or about anyone. We of course are all spiritual. We are all people of faith. It just depends upon/in what we place that faith.

  4. The one thing Waco needs more than anything else: to be more conservative. No longer will we be known throughout Texas and the world as a liberal stronghold. No longer will people across the country hear the name “Waco” and think about liberal “values.” Now people will think about God and righteousness!

    I might have to move to Temple now if I want to live in a more liberal environment.

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