This Is How They Operate

With over 25 years involved in debates with all the usual suspects, especially in the mainstream media, I have long ago gotten a pretty good understanding of how the other side operates. And I can tell you that it just ain’t pretty. It seems every trick in the book, every under-handed tactic, and every deceptive ploy is used by these folks to push their agendas and stifle any opposition voices.

I have done many hundreds of interviews and debates with the mainstream media – radio, TV, magazines and newspapers – and very clear patterns, with only rare exceptions, emerge as to how an overwhelmingly secular left MSM operates. One could write a book about all this.

Consider how the typical debate goes with these folks: you are invited on as the sole token conservative voice, far outnumbered by your leftist opponents. Almost always the so-called moderator is anything but. They invariably are opposed to your point of view, and will side with the other critics. So it is often 2 against 1, but I have been involved in debates which pit me against 3, 4, 5 or more opponents.

media-4One of the sneaky tricks of the MSM is to have talk-back callers on radio or TV. They appear to just be ordinary folks coming out of the blue, but quite often they are prearranged partisans who have been specifically invited to come on board to ask their loaded and biased questions and make their lefty comments.

With all those folks entering the fray, it is quite easy to be outnumbered 8 to 1, or 10 to 1, or 15 to 1. I have experienced this many dozens of times. That is the MSM’s idea of a “fair debate”. One conservative voice pitted against all the others.

So cowardly are most of the folks in the MSM that they will hardly ever allow a really fair and balanced debate; you know, like 2 conservatives against 2 lefties, with a genuinely impartial moderator. I would guess that this has happened to me at most a handful of times.

So-called interviews are often no better. For example, often I will be contacted and asked if I would like to be interviewed on some hot topic. I agree, and when it does occur, I am surprised to find that it is not an interview, but a debate, and they already have their hostile opponents of me lined up and ready to go. So you are ambushed from the very outset.

And often what is supposed to be an even-handed interview is anything but. The interviewer is often extremely partisan, clearly disliking me and my point of view. Sometimes you can just feel the anger and the bile dripping from their tongues. They don’t even try to hide their contempt of me and my views.

I had yet another prime example of this taking place yesterday. I was invited to appear on 3AW radio for the nationally-broadcast Neil Mitchell program. I have appeared on his program often before, and knew I would not get an easy run. The topic was really an old news story: about Senator Cory Bernardi’s views on single parenting. That is old hat, but another num-num LNP member came out recently attacking Bernardi for his views on this.

So it was once again topical, providing yet another neat opportunity to again bash Bernardi, which is the real point of the exercise it seems. So sure enough, as soon as I got on, it was Neil blasting Bernardi and me. And in typical fashion, he did what I have experienced so often before: he completely ignored and mocked the evidence, and just went for personal attack and mud-slinging.

This is the number one tactic of the other side, whether in or out of the MSM: simply ignore, deny or get angry about all the facts, data, evidence and statistics you might offer. They have already made up their minds on whatever the issue might be, so no amount of facts or evidence will sway them in the least.

They are driven solely by their leftist ideology, and not by the actual data and facts. So of course it is impossible to debate such people. They are utterly imperious to truth and facts, and are simply there to push their own agenda – end of story.

Yet we must have the evidence at hand regardless, so I came prepared. I assured Neil that this was actually one of the more solid and settled findings of a half century of social science research. All things considered, children do best by all social indicators when raised by their own biological mum and dad, preferably cemented by marriage.

The data on this is as conclusive as it is overwhelming, with many thousands of studies verifying this. When he pressed me, I was happy to read out just one quote from one study. An American researcher who has written books and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles on this – and who is herself a single mother – said this:

A US study found that girls who grow up without fathers were “53 percent more likely to marry as teenagers, 111 percent more likely to have children as teenagers, 164 percent more likely to have a premarital birth, and 92 percent more likely to dissolve their own marriages.”

Of course Neil did not like the use of facts and stats, so he simply tried to challenge the research. I assured him this was part of many longitudinal studies which carefully control for things like economic levels and the like. He realised he was getting nowhere fast here, so he changed tack, and did the usual: throw out red-herrings and straw men.

He said, “So Bill, you just want people to stay trapped in harmful and violent marriages”. I called his bluff and said no, of course when there is real violence and abuse, other options must be explored. Then he threw out the straw man that Cory and I are trying to force people to live in only one way.

I said no, this is about ideal public policy options. Just as we have ideals in foreign policy or fiscal policy that we strive for, governments should have ideals in social policy that we should aim for. And if we know perfectly clearly from all the research that the well-being of children is maximised in the two-parent, married family, and minimised in all other structures, then we should be holding that up as an ideal to be aiming for.

I also pointed out the truth that this is not attacking single parents. I explained that Cory and I distinguish between those who are single-parents through no fault of their own (because of the death or desertion of a spouse, eg) and those who deliberately bring kids into the world without both parents.

He asked when that occurs, and I said all the time. Homosexuals wanting kids is an obvious case, and I also mentioned how years ago a single woman (not biologically infertile but “socially” infertile) wanted access to IVF to have kids, and took her case all the way to the High Court where she won. So the deliberate creation of single-parent families is happening all the time.

He did not like that either, so he spent the remaining few minutes in typical lefty fashion shooting the messenger, and trying to attack the integrity of the organisation I was representing. “So what is the Family Council of Victoria and who is in it?” I answered his questions on this several times, but still not to his liking.

But what does the FCV have to do with any of this anyway? This is international research which I am citing. How does seeking to discredit me and the FCV discredit the research and the evidence thus presented? It doesn’t of course, but these are more very common logical fallacies used by the other side all the time: the ad hominem fallacy (attack the person), and the genetic fallacy (reject a view or idea because it is claimed to come from a bad or questionable source).

He realised he was getting nowhere fast with me, so he cut me off after around seven minutes. But things did not end there. He and talk-back callers kept this discussion going for some time thereafter. I only was able to hear a small bit of it, but what I did hear was a shocker – but not unexpected.

One older man called in and said he grew up in a single-parent home when his dad left early on. Neil instantly interjected, “So you’re a criminal are you?” Oh Neil, you are so droll. So good at completely ignoring the evidence and disregarding or twisting everything I just said.

So good at demonising opponents instead of addressing the facts and data. So good at shooting the messenger; setting up straw men; and going after red herrings. And much to the obvious chagrin of Neil, he went on to say that he wished that he did have a dad to grow up with!

Another person who did hear the whole thing wrote me out of the blue and said this: “Just wanted to congratulate you on sticking to the evidence and standing up for traditional marriages and the welfare of kids mate. Glad that you kept to the point when Mitchell tried to bring up straw man arguments.

“I noticed that Neil and Michael Carr Greg couldn’t resist their little dig and mud sling at you before the 11am news where they promoted gay adoption and said that your statistics were rubbish and poverty was the real reason behind kids going off track, rather than kids not coming from 2 parent married families. Just more main stream, left winged clap trap we have to contend with. Cheers.”

Again, another perfect example of how the other side operates. They get you on for a few minutes so they can claim to be balanced, giving all sides a hearing, but then blast you the whole time you are on, and continue to blast you while you are no longer there to defend yourself.

This is just how the other side operates. They do not fight fair. They relish cheating and nasty tricks. They hate and eschew evidence and facts. And they exalt in their own ignorance and ideological myopia.

So if you are thinking about getting into the public arena to defend things like faith, family and life, be forewarned: the other side – especially in the MSM – plays dirty and has made an art-form of this. You will almost never get a fair run or a fair deal from these guys – not if you are someone offering the conservative and Christian point of view at least.

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28 Replies to “This Is How They Operate”

  1. Got a link to the interview Bill?

    Sounds like you did a super job.

    Love to hear Neil’s nose rubbed into some of those facts you mentioned.

  2. Damien, you can contact 3AW and ask for the recording, if you know what time it took place. It´ll cost you about $75, and I think they give it to you in 30 minute blocks.

  3. Keep taking the fight to them Bill. Although Neil is a lefty, people can see through his bullying. If you didn’t do the interview, people would have never heard the other side. Keep fighting , Bill. There are so few willing to risk their livelihood like you do. God bless.

  4. I would not despair Bill – presenting truth never garnered big audiences nor gained great traction when Jesus spoke it; why would it be any different for you or other commentators?

    Facts, stats and evidence are no match for emotionally informed and framed opinions and values – that’s a constant. You may be fighting a battle in the physical but the real warfare is in the spiritual so take heart – when you sow the ‘seeds’ of truth into the earth, some people will hear you …

  5. A Christian friend was telling me about the program yesterday afternoon; he thought you handled the interview very well and presented the facts clearly despite the hostile opposition.

    Well done Bill.

  6. Hi Bill,
    Once again, you are absolutely right. Many years ago I worked with the Sporting Shooters Association and did many interviews on radio, and what a waste of time that was. Whatever one may think of firearms, people have a legal and legitimate right to own and use them in the correct circumstances, but that wasn’t good enough for the rabid anti-firearm ‘gun control’ lefties. Their ideology is that all firearm owners are irresponsible red-neck lunatics and nobody but the police and military should own guns.

    So of course I got the same treatment then, over 12 years ago, that you received yesterday. Their tactics have not changed a bit. The silent conservative majority have to listen to bare-faced ideology posing as ‘debate’ and then send private messages of support (as I too received), too afraid to speak out publicly for fear of being attacked and accused themselves (isn’t that called bullying?) Balanced public debate and freedom of speech does not consist of people being too afraid to speak out for fear of vitriolic verbal retribution, yet we are now seeing far to much of that in the public sphere. Best to just switch off and not participate? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

  7. Don’t worry Bill, you are not alone. I face these very same tactics day in and Day out. What really upsets their apple carts is when they can’t faze you, no matter what tactics they employ. I congratulate you Bill for not letting ones like Neil Mitchell and the MSM get under your skin.

    When faced with such tactics I tend to picture them as Fleas on a dog back, it doesn’t matter how many times they bite, they are still there to be scratched of when we need to. We might face a barrage from our detractors, but at the end of the Day the Truth will win out, only after the opposition have taken a great number of Victims. That is the beauty of truth, it being absolute and able to withstand all the attacks against it. Just when the opposition feel that they have reason to celebrate and are about to pop the champagne corks the truth with it’s absolutes will come back to bite them.

    Leigh D Stebbins

  8. Hi Bill,

    It seems that politicians on either side of parliament are little different from the MSM apologists for ungodly agendas. Few, like Cori Bernardi, have the courage to state their opinions unequivocally, in line with their convictions born of biblical truth.

    On 8 January, in response to your article the same day titled, “Bernardi, Families, Sense and Nonsense,” I emailed the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, as follows:

    Dear Prime Minister,

    As with many thousands of other political conservatives who voted for you in the last election, I would like to think that you will treat Cori Bernardi with nothing but the highest respect and unequivocally endorse his sentiments in his recently published book “The Conservative Revolution”.

    I also hope and pray that a senior member of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia, of which you are a member, will come out in full support of Cori, and not remain silent during the feeding frenzy which has already begun, with people like Bill Shorten and Anthony Albernese demanding you “completely disassociate yourself from Bernardi.”

    To paraphrase the words of Mordecai to Esther penned almost 2500 years ago:

    If you remain silent at this time, support for Cori Bernadi will arise from another place, but you and your family will suffer great anguish. And who knows but that you have come to your position as Prime Minister for such a time as this?

    With utmost respect,


    On 27 February, I received the following response from Josh Frydenberg, Parliamentary Secretary to the PM:

    Dear Mr Heasman.

    Thank you for your correspondence dated 8 January 2014 to the Prime Minister about Senator Bernardi’s book. The Prime Minister asked me to respond to your correspondence.

    The views expressed in Senator Bernardi’s book are his own views. In our system, members of Parliament are entitled to express personal opinions.

    The Government is proud of Australia’s strength in diversity and celebrates members of Parliament’s capacity to respectfully differ on very important subjects.

    Yours sincerely,

    Josh Frydenberg

    Reading between the lines, it is obvious that PM Abbott has no intention of endorsing Cori Bernardi, or anyone else for that matter who agrees with the views expressed in Cori’s book, including you and me.

    Much encouragement,


  9. Bill!!
    I think you are being a bit hard on them. If you were to take away the lies, deception and the tricks what would they have left to use. You know they have little or no claim to the truth. Have a heart Bill.

  10. Nothing new in the scenario of your interviews! Matt. 23 pulls no punches about those who persecute the righteous, stone the prophets and are whited sepulchres, nice and clean on the outside but inside full of rapacity and extortion.
    We are grateful for the courage and faithfulness you model for all the rest of us. God bless you, give you strength and long-suffering, and remember that He has the Victory.

  11. Bill, I’m so glad you had the courage to stand and speak the truth, knowing the opposition you would inevitably face.
    I didn’t hear the interview, but I know you would have calmly presented the facts with grace and dignity, and showed the bullying tactics used against you for what they were – cowardly attacks against a man who presents the truth.
    I hope these cowards think twice before taking you on so carelessly in the future (they will always have their supporters who only hear what they want to hear and ignore the facts) but I know you are more than equal to the challenge. Well done!

  12. I know its easy to say but for what its worth.
    Keep going mate. The truth sets us free.
    To be honest Bill I do not know how you do it.
    Thanks for having the guts Bill.
    Love your work.

  13. The left of center Brookings Institute seems to be producing a lot of good material in favour of traditional marriage as a bulwark against inequality and poverty. An argument I don’t think conservatives have tapped enough;

    “The rise in non-marital birth rates cannot be ignored. Study after study has shown that children born into two-parent families have tremendous benefits … differences in family structure exacerbate income inequality. More educated, higher-income couples have much higher rates of marriage and lower rates of divorce … The dissolution of the family is appropriately considered a marker of social and economic problems, as opposed to the cause.”

  14. Hi Bill
    It seems all those above have said it all and in their sayings I must concur. God will bless you for this.
    There is a very simple old saying that if you speak the truth you will never need to lie. That statement is a time withering absolute.
    A lie is lost with no reminder from its season yet breeds more lies to justify its reason.
    The truth is pure and once lived is rarely forgotten.
    The uttering’s of the chaff and their verbal brutality may appear to hold sway for a moment yet the truth is a solid rock on which our foundations are set whilst the sands and views of the unrighteous are as the dust in the wind. Ears they have yet do not hear.
    Jesus said I know my people and they all know me. And it is they who long to hear and feel the truth within their spirit. For this reason it falls upon you to be one called to do the telling of it.

  15. In most televised debates, the Left is the attacker and the Right is the defender. The Left tends to look cool and unruffled as it asserts its subjective truth, by which it has been empowered and emboldened. The Right tends to look hot and flustered as it defends obective truth, which it values as precious and eternal. Peole being like sheep, tend to conform to the fashionable consensus of the time

  16. Bill, I thank God for those who, like yourself and Cory Bernardi, stand up for the truth in the face of fanatical opposition. Your faith and courage are an example to us all. Unlike most of Cory’s detractors, I have actually bought and read his book, “The Conservative Revolution”. It’s well-written, thoroughly footnoted and can be obtained from the publishers, Connor Court ( I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to appear in the mainstream bookshops or local libraries.


  17. “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. David, I guess it depends on who is doing the damning. I would rather be damned by man than by God, hope that helps to encourage people to keep going?
    Bill, remember Jeremiah? He also lost heart and almost decided not to speak up for God any more, but then, when he was silent, the words of God just kept on burning in his heart until they just had to come out. God is on your side if you are on His, so He will continue to give you the strength you need.
    A few years ago I used to text to a programme on the ABC when they asked their call back questions. (I get a bit flustered talking on the phone when I know it is broadcast.)
    After a few of my texts, they blocked my number.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  18. Well done Bill, keep up the good work. And never, ever let them think they have got to you.

    John Laws tells a story about a caller who rang up and called him a mongrel dog. Laws immediately had “I listen to the mongrel” T-shirts printed up and sent to his listeners.

    Now I don’t hold much for John Laws and I’m not suggesting you print “I follow Bill the Mule” T-shirts. But you get the point.

  19. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done

  20. Bill, thanks for your continued defence of marriage and Cory Bernardi’s book wherein he restates the phrase that ‘traditional families should be the “gold” standard as the best protector of children’s welfare’.

    This will sound familiar to you ….. p.34 The Conservative Revolution and Cory writes, “It should come as no surprise that those whose argument has no substance are reduced to make ad hominem attacks on their opponents”.

    We remember Joshua Ch. 1: v9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” – repeated oft times throughout the book. Surely relevant to your bold stance.

    Encouraged too by letter to the P.M. by John H. above – though a disappointing nondescript reply from his office.

  21. As one Courier-Mail journalist told me, the Left’s dominance within the mainstream media is mainly due to the leftist indoctrination imposed on Uni students studying journalism, etc.

    What Bill says is confirmed by those on the Left, such as lesbian, leftist, activist Tammy Bruce in the USA. She wrote a book titled “The New Thought Police”, in which she exposed how the Left controls so called “public debate” through their dominance of the MSM (the ABC and SBS being classic examples).

    She believed that fair, balanced public debate was needed and she felt that the Left would win such debates anyway.
    This leftist activist then received the typical abuse that the Left is known for, because she exposed how the Left dominates debate through a biased MSM.

    The Left is known for it’s Totalitarianism, wanting to control every aspect of how people think. The MSM is very effective at this. I’m sure the likes of Hitler and Stalin would have been very happy to have media outlets like the ABC and SBS to push their propaganda.

    I think it was either Hitler or Stalin who even said “if you tell a lie often enough it becomes true”. Much of the MSM have been telling politically correct lies for years now.

  22. The left wing love ‘jamming’ ‘debates’ with the terms Racism, Homophobia, Islamophobia. [ they haven’t used abortionphobia yet ] e.t.c. You only need the one response. The left is suffering from Truthophobia.

  23. I personally cannot understand why people are so against facts and statistics which prove a certain point of view . I constantly get attacked for stating obvious truths . It’s very dis-heartening that the general population are not willing to see the decline of morals and ethics , and instead choose to just keep watching their idiot box . The phrase which most often comes up is , ” Ah don’t worry about it , you can’t do anything about it , and criticising doesn’t do you any good …” so frustrating !! That is why I love to read your posts Bill , it kind of gives me hope that some folk might listen 🙂 All the Best . Roulf Commandeur .

  24. If you can find it in the 60 Minutes archives check out Richard Carleton’s grilling of the then moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Australia (from around 1993/4). A Rev Peter Cameron (I think that was his name) was being investigated for possible heresy (and correctly as he was a theological liberal) and the sheer contempt emanating from Carleton towards the Pres’ Church moderator was utterly appalling. (The moderator handled himself quite well under the circumstances.) Unfortunately we have come to expect this sort of nonsense when it comes to the MSM. Christians, (with the exception of liberal pseudo-Christians like Desmond Tutu or John Spong) simply do not get a fair go.

  25. Hi Bill, I heard your debate with Neil on the radio; as I listen to that station mainly all the time; whether @ home or in the car. I thought ‘good on yar’ Bill!! I’m 1 of those people who listen; but don’t ring in to the station. Maybe I should, but; they only give you a few seconds & then they cut you off. Maybe I could say my bit & then hang up; but I suppose they’d ‘put me down’ if I did that!!!! G. H. Garwood – what about ‘heterophobia” , I reckon the ‘homo’s’ have got! They’re ‘afraid’ of ‘heterosexuals’!

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