National Journal

Your weekend think piece: Scribe lets God respond to The New York Daily News

Your weekend think piece: Scribe lets God respond to The New York Daily News

So what kinds of thoughts pop into your mind when you are watching a newscast, after some kind of tragedy, and the anchor-person ends a report by saying, "All of our thoughts are with the families involved in this event," or words to that effect.

The key buzz word, of course, is "thoughts." In some parts of America, anchor-people still dare to say "thoughts and prayers."

Either way, here is what I usually think when I hear that: "Really?"

Cynical? You betcha. This brings me, of course, to this week's media storm about The New York Daily News cover -- in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre -- with the infamous "God Isn't Fixing This" banner headline. Click here for Julia Duin's post on the "prayer shaming" debate that followed that piece.

The key, of course, was whether one took the headline as a shot a God, a shot at Republicans who issued statements about praying for the victims (as opposed to calls for gun-control legislation) or as both.

Lots of folks, this week, asked why I thought the Daily News ran that headline. I immediately thought about the numbers in the Pew Forum report that put the "nones" -- the growing number of religiously unaffiliated Americans -- in the news. You may recall that one implication of that survey was that a coalition of secularists, "nones" and our nation's small cohort of religious liberals was now the largest constituency group in today's Democratic Party.

Clearly, Democrats -- with the media that service them -- need to please that base, from time to time (just as Republicans have to worry about the concerns of the very religious). Might the Daily News leaders (who desperately need someone to fund their newspaper) have been courting that audience?

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Dueling Christian coverage, or Ira Glass vs. National Journal

Above is a nice little snippet of an Ira Glass interview. Interview of Ira Glass, I should say. The popular host of public radio’s This American Life reflects on why the show does so much good coverage of Christians. It’s because the media do such a bad job of covering them otherwise, he says. He says the Christians he knows and works with — including the “fundamentalists” — are nothing like how Christians are portrayed in the media.

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Power to hype or downplay: On Gosnell and the NYTimes

Many in the media are indicating that they really want to move on from the Gosnell trial that they’ve struggled to cover — or ignored — from the get-go. You’re not seeing much coverage. Earlier this week I came across a small example that demonstrates how media frenzies are fed or squashed. It’s instructive.

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