Doug TenNapel

This is not a news story! But, alas, we are likely to see more brews coverage about it

This is not a news story! But, alas, we are likely to see more brews coverage about it

It's the question that drives editors crazy in this age of click-bait media: Why do some stories go viral, while others do not?

How about viral news stories in which there is little or no evidence that there is actually a story to be reported in the first place?

I'm talking, of course, about the spew your liquid caffeine on your keyboard levels of media attention dedicated to the Starbucks hates Christmas story that broke out this week, after the usual craziness in social-media land. See the post by our own James Davis with the pun-tastic headline, "Red Cup Diaries: Mainstream media cover Starbucks' Christmas brew-haha." Apparently, there is some kind of pay-cable reference in that naughty headline, too, but that went over my head.

On Facebook, I offered this mini-rant:

Is it acceptable for me to be very upset that millions of Xians think that it's already Christmas and we haven't even started Nativity Lent yet? I mean, who runs their churches, the god of the local mall?

The graphic at the top of this post, passed along by the edgy and hilarious graphic novelist Doug TenNapel, says it all.

At least, I thought it said it all, until M.Z. "GetReligionista emeritus" Hemingway, now with The Federalist, went old-school GetReligion on this mess in a piece that ran under this headline: "Nobody Is Actually Upset About The Starbucks Cup. Stop Saying Otherwise." MZ did her thing, but then turned this piece into some completely different -- making it must reading for journalists facing the challenge of finding valid pre-Christmas stories to cover this year (and every year, come to think of it). Her piece opened with this summary:

Please respect our Commenting Policy

How to miss a few scary angels at Comic-Con, as well as zombie theology debates

How to miss a few scary angels at Comic-Con, as well as zombie theology debates

First thing first, let me offer a cry of personal outrage about one passage in that interesting New York Times piece about God and the annual Super Bowl of American pop culture -- Comic-Con. We're talking about the news feature that ran under this headline: "At Comic-Con, Faith-Based Entertainment Stays in the Shadows."

(Cue mock voice of indignation) What? There is no one on the copy desk of the world's most influential newspaper who knows the Doctor Who canon? That newsroom is a Whovian-free zone?

What does this question have to do with this story? Well, the interesting thing about this piece is that it seems to define the missing "faith" content at Comic-Con 2015 in terms of products produced by the niche-entertainment industry that strives to appeal, for the most part, to pew-sitting evangelical Christians. It seems tone-deaf to the religion content in mainstream culture, including some of its most popular products.

In that context, there is the following passage:

... There was almost no obvious contemporary, faith-based cultural presence on a convention exhibit floor that was crammed with gods, spirits and cultic outcroppings of almost every stripe.
The Christian Comic Arts Society was supposed to have a spot in the small press pavilion, but was not to be found in its assigned spot on Thursday and Friday. If the group indeed showed up, it was lost somewhere in the crowd of 130,000 attendees. The closest approach to Christian imagery was a large drawing that portrayed a dragon-conquering woman beneath a halo.
A couple of “angels” were strolling about, but they were ominously covered, head to toe, in dark makeup.

#DontBlink #WeepingAngels #DUH

Please respect our Commenting Policy