Tags: Robinson | Media | Bias

Author Chronicles Bias Against Conservatives

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2008 01:46 PM

By Author Robinson Chronicles Bias Against Conservatives

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Ron Robinson, co-author of the new book, “Funding Fathers: The Unsung Heroes of the Conservative Movement,” sees a strong media bias against conservative philanthropists.

[Editor’s Note: Get “Funding Fathers: The Unsung Heroes of the Conservative Movement.” Go here now.]

Robinson, who also is president of the Young America’s Foundation, explained in an exclusive Newsmax interview why conservative gift-givers rarely receive due credit in the media. Conservatives often operate at a cultural disadvantage, said Robinson, who co-authored the book with Reagan ranch board member Nicole Hoplin.

He also illuminated why the vice presidential candidacy of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has captured the nation’s attention.

[Editor’s Note: Read “Ron Robinson Chronicles Bias Against Conservatives.” Go here now.]

Newsmax: Why are progressive givers generally lauded, while conservative philanthropists, according to your book “Funding Fathers,” are either ignored or vilified?

Robinson: The imbalance that the general news media have as they deal with issues shows up to an even greater extent in philanthropy because they can get away with it because. Conservatives in a lot of cases don’t get out the story of our supporters, and the great gifts. A lot of the conservatives are humble and they are not looking to toot their own horn, so they will defend their principals but they won’t necessarily defend publically their philanthropy. And so the imbalance that already exists in the media is exacerbated by those cultural differences between the left and the right.

Newsmax: Who has probably been least appreciated for the contributions their gifts have made to America?

Robinson: Well, while he was not unknown in his day, Dean Clarence Manion set off a chain of events that has profoundly affected our country in ways that he was not always given credit for. He really was the prime mover in Barry Goldwater’s classic “The Conscience of a Conservative.” That book transformed a movement.

It also led, in part, to Ronald Reagan becoming the person that he became in the public life, because the Goldwater movement and “Conscience of a Conservative,” in particular, affected his ideas when the Goldwater campaign reached its high-water mark in October 1964, and Ronald Reagan gave that speech that three other individuals who we write about in the book heard, and then wanted to put on national television.

So I think that, if you look at what Dean Manion, Virginia Manion, and the Manion family did, to publish a book that was not published by a major publishing house — it was put out by them, it was their own individual effort — that probably is one of the most underrated efforts an individual has made that has just profoundly impacted the conservative community.

Newsmax: Why is Holmes Tuttle a name every American should know?

Robinson: Holmes Tuttle was one of the three businessmen that recognized the tremendous impact of the speech that Ronald Reagan gave to a business group in Los Angeles. The speech was on behalf of Barry Goldwater. They saw it.

So they asked Ronald Reagan if he would give that speech on television, if they put up the funds to do that. So the three of them, Holmes Tuttle, Cy Rubel, and Henry Salvatore, put together $100,000 to put Ronald Reagan on the air to give what turned out to be his speech “A Time for Choosing,” which Reagan cites in his book, but outside of any individuals who funded it, as a change in his life permanently. And of course it changed the country, because it led to Ronald Reagan running for governor of California two years later, serving two terms as governor of California, and then, of course, being elected president in 1980, not only changing our country, but changing the world.

Newsmax: You write, “The left dominates the universities, the media, and most of the philanthropic organizations but it seldom matches the conservative movement’s effectiveness.” Why do you think that the case?

Robinson: Well it is actually somewhat ironic, because conservative institutions comparatively were starved for funds. They tended to spend the money much more carefully like a family struggling through the Great Depression. I think that they will never spend carelessly and will always be very cautious with their resources. Almost every conservative group only receives support through voluntary efforts. There are very few conservative institutions that take taxpayer funds to any extent.

So I think that they are much more careful about how that money is spent. But I also think that there’s another reason for it, and it goes back almost to the Reagan speech. And it’s the same principal as with Sarah Palin, that when someone does come forward and articulates the conservative ideas as we conservatives ourselves would state those ideas, the general public is very responsive to that, because we represent the majority sentiment in American society. So it is easier once someone steps forward. The great challenge is that what makes a person conservative oftentimes is that they want to raise their own family, they want to run their own business, they are not out to decide everything else for everybody else.

So to get individuals to step forward perhaps is a greater challenge on the conservative side than it is on the socialist side, where people are dying to run other people’s lives.

[Editor’s Note: Get “Funding Fathers: The Unsung Heroes of the Conservative Movement.” Go here now.]

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