Shame on SAPA for giving bigot national, uncritical exposure


One Taryn Hodgson of The Christian Action Network (CAN) has been gaining considerable exposure in the mainstream media thanks to SAPA. Hodgson launched an attack on DSTv for researching the possibility of offering a pornographic pay-TV channel to South Africans. SAPA decided to cast her as a vocal opponent of any such move and as an advocate for women’s rights.

“Should DStv introduce such a channel, they would be supporting those who exploit, objectify and degrade women,” she told SAPA. “Porn violates women’s constitutional rights to dignity and equality.”

There is sure to be lively debate around any move to launch such a service in South Africa. My interest really lies in the implied credibility bestowed by SAPA on Hodgson and her organisation.

This is the spokesperson for an organisation that tends to take points of view (as per its website) that would widely be considered as bigoted, racist and patronising. Some highlights;

1. The ANC government is ‘Marxist mass murderers [that] has led to the paganisation of this once strongly Christian nation.

2. Gay men and women (or homosexualists as per the CAN website) are attempting to ‘force all of society – beginning in primary schools – to conform to sexual deviancy.‘ Blatant hate speech takes up quite a lot of space on this website in fact.

3. It is implied that the movie Invictus is a paid for party-political advertisement filmed on behalf of Nelson Mandela and the ANC. ‘Under Clint Eastwood’s directorship, Invictus dogmatically asserts that Nelson Mandela and the black people needed to forgive the whites. Never does the film portray how much the whites had to forgive people like Nelson Mandela and his ANC terrorists who were responsible for the murder of thousands of South Africans. There is no mention in Invictus of the three decades of vicious terrorist warfare, including the burning down of thousands of schools, hacking to death of thousands of innocent people in homes and in the streets, pouring gasoline over a thousand innocent victims setting them alight, in the brutal necklace murders, the car bombs in public streets, limpet mines in shopping centres, petrol bombs and grenades through windows at night and assassinations.’

4. It’s implied that AIDS is deserved by those living with it. ‘Most humanist reporters who believe in a materialistic worldview refuse to consider the possibility that AIDS could be a judgment of God and a warning to promiscuous and adulterous individuals who violate God’s commands.’

Ignorance. Check.
Homophobia. Check.
Racism. Check.

Oh – and women’s rights – the cause SAPA makes us believe Hodgson is fighting for? ‘By making the murder of pre-born babies legal, easy and taxpayer funded, the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act defies all logic,’ reads the CAN website.

If the views of such an obviously bigoted individual and organisation are going to be given such eminence at least contextualise where it comes from. Implying Hodgson is an advocate for the constitution or for the rights of women seems both untrue and like poor journalism to me.


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