Democratic National Convention

Was I too easy on Religion News Service for covering Democratic convention but not GOP one?

Was I too easy on Religion News Service for covering Democratic convention but not GOP one?

My post last week on why Religion News Service covered the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia but not the Republican National Convention in Cleveland generated a fair amount of response both in the comments section and on social media.

I pretty much accepted RNS editor in chief Jeremy Socolovsky's explanation for the decision:

The reason we did not have someone at the GOP convention is that we weren't able to get accreditation.

But a number of folks thought I was too easy on RNS.

For example, reader Mikehorn commented:

This is so lame I hardly know where to begin. Was the Internet broken? Was Cleveland under quarantine? Did your computers disappear and you had no typewriters or pencils?

Twitter responses to the post were similar.

Meanwhile, our own Terry Mattingly asked:

Question from a veteran reporter, about RNS and RNC: Wait a minute, wasn't every single moment of the GOP convention on C-SPAN?
I would add: I am sure that RNS veterans have thick files of contact info for leaders in various wings of the GOP, correct?

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Khizr Khan calls Donald Trump a 'black soul': Is there a spiritual connotation?

Khizr Khan calls Donald Trump a 'black soul': Is there a spiritual connotation?

Donald Trump has been called a lot of things in the 2016 presidential race.

On Sunday, Khizr Khan, the Muslim father of a U.S. Army soldier killed in Iraq in 2004, labeled Trump a "black soul."

Is that term new to you? It is to me. A quick Google search turned up this definition at urbandictionary.com:

black soul
An individual who lacks the capacity for empathy and compassion

My immediate question: Is there a deeper spiritual connotation — perhaps a religious or theological history associated with that description of which I am not aware? 

Here is the context of the quote, via CNN:

Washington (CNN) Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim US soldier slain in Iraq in 2004, said Sunday that Donald Trump has a "black soul," indicating he lacks empathy and compassion.
Khan told CNN's Jim Acosta on "State of the Union" that he hopes Trump's family will "teach him some empathy."
"He is a black soul, and this is totally unfit for the leadership of this country," Khan said. "The love and affection that we have received affirms that our grief -- that our experience in this country has been correct and positive. The world is receiving us like we have never seen. They have seen the blackness of his character, of his soul."
Khan moved into the national spotlight after he pulled out a pocket copy of the Constitution during his speech at the Democratic National Convention. He said Trump would have barred his Muslim family from entering the United States.

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The reason Religion News Service covered the Democrats this week and not the GOP last week

The reason Religion News Service covered the Democrats this week and not the GOP last week

Sorry, conspiracy theorists (including myself).

There's a logical reason why Religion News Service provided extensive coverage of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week after skipping Donald Trump and the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week. And no, it has nothing to do with bias. I'll explain in a moment.

First, a little background: RNS national correspondent David Gibson has been all over various religion angles in the City of Brotherly Love, from asking "Can Hillary Clinton finally close the 'God gap?'" to exploring "Who boos an opening prayer? The Berniacs of 2016, that’s who." 

Other topics have included "The divided soul of the Democratic Party" and "Can Clinton-Kaine bring Democratic voters back to the Democrats?"

But here's a question posed by a reader: Where was the RNS last week when Donald Trump and the Republicans were holding their convention?

My first thought: Did nobody on the RNS staff want to go to Cleveland? I hear it's nice this time of year.

Seriously, it's a legitimate question to ask: How can a news service that claims to be impartial cover one national political convention and not the other?

"Well, you know, religion and GOP politics just don't mix," quipped Terry Mattingly, GetReligion's editor.

But RNS editor in chief Jerome Socolovsky, who joined RNS less than a year and has been open to addressing questions of RNS' perceived liberal leanings, said there's a simple reason why the wire service didn't cover the GOP convention.

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