No Comment — August 17, 2009, 3:19 pm

Reporting on C Street

In the last several months, a political storm has brewed around a religious right group called the Family and its center of activities, a residential dwelling reported for tax purposes as a church located on C Street in Washington, D.C. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, Nevada Senator John Ensign, and former Mississippi Congressman Chip Pickering are three scandal-plagued figures who resided at the C Street townhouse. C Street has gotten heavy coverage with major media, which is something of a breakthrough, considering that issues with religious right groups like the Family have in the past simply been laughed off or ignored. In the last few days, however, the Family and the scandal surrounding C Street have gotten attention—with sharply differing treatment—in the media of the Christian right as well.

World Magazine, a leading Christian right publication, opens with a double-track assault on the Family in a cover-story entitled the “ABCs of C Street.” They trace the history of the C Street house and the principal figures behind it, and then turn to the money trail. As the lede makes clear (“an organization big on protecting its own and small on church ties and theology”), their attitude is critical and exacting. The piece looks like serious journalism, much like the publication’s exposé work on Ralph Reed and other scandals in the past.

Meanwhile, Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network has an entirely different take. They pass by the role played by C Street fellowship in the unraveling of marriages, focusing instead on the glass that’s half filled. They quote Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center:

“It is anything but a sort of conservative Republican kabal,” Cromartie said. And yes, while Sanford and Ensign morally failed even while attending C Street, there is a flip side. “The fact of the matter is what you ought to do if you want to do a real story on C Street is find out how many affairs were thwarted because of the accountability of this house,” Cromartie said.

Talkingpointsmemo reports that as originally aired, the CBN piece featured announcer Gordon Robertson talking about the organization’s intense secrecy and then remarking “God bless ‘em!” However, CBN took down the video version of the piece.

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

From the April 2015 issue

Company Men

Torture, treachery, and the CIA

Six Questions October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm

The APA Grapples with Its Torture Demons: Six Questions for Nathaniel Raymond

Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.

No Comment, Six Questions June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

May 2015

The Quietest Place in the Universe

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Black Hat, White Hat

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Beyond the Broken Window

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In Search of a Stolen Fiddle

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Displaced in the D.R.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Displaced in the D.R.·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“How is it possible that my birth certificate is invalid if I was born here?”
Photograph by Pierre Michel Jean
Article
The Quietest Place in the Universe·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Gaitskell and his colleagues are approaching the revelation of a new order, a new universe, in which even light will be known differently, and darkness as well.”
Painting by Sebastiaan Bremer
Article
The Test of Time·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“One by one his books dismantle the idea that art consoles, that art contains truths, that art expresses the soul. He insists on the artificiality and createdness of his narratives.”
Article
Saving the Whale, Again·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“While the other Wall Street behemoths are currently tapering their derivatives trading, Citi has been expanding its own.”
Illustration by Ross MacDonald
[Browsings]
On Broadway·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Photograph by the author

Chance that an American would give up at least one week of life to avoid taking a pill every day:

1 in 3

Iowa urologists reported that only a minor portion of locker-room teasing arises from “the presence of excess foreskin”; most teasing targets small penises.

A pair of Russian film directors asked President Vladimir Putin to invest $18 million in a new restaurant chain intended to drive McDonald’s out of the Russian market. “Every project these days,” a Russian television personality said of the proposal, “must be smothered in patriotic sauce.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today