click-bait

Jim Bakker plus real estate plus the apocalypse plus zero new reporting equals WHAT?

Jim Bakker plus real estate plus the apocalypse plus zero new reporting equals WHAT?

Jim Bakker likes to build things.

In the old days be built really big things and news consumers with a long attention span will remember how that turned out. Click here for a recent news update.

Today he's building smaller things -- like Ozark cabins for the post-apocalyptic age. Buyers will need lots of Bakker approved religious-home furnishings, of course.

As you would imagine, there are people who want to write about that. The question is whether, in a social-media and Internet journalism age, WRITING about this topic actually requires journalists at a major newspaper in the Midwest to do any new REPORTING, other than with an Internet search engine.

Here's the Kansas City Star headline: "Televangelist Jim Bakker calls his Missouri cabins the safest spot for the Apocalypse." Read this story and count the online and streaming info sources. I'll start you off with the overture:

Televangelist Jim Bakker suggests that if you want to survive the end of days, the best thing you could do is buy one of his cabins in Missouri's Ozark Mountains. And while you're at it, be sure to pick up six 28-ounce "Extreme Survival Warfare" water bottles for $150.

Bakker, 78, made comments promoting his Morningside church community alongside his co-host and wife, Lori, on an episode of "The Jim Bakker Show," which aired Tuesday. The show is filmed there, near Branson.

Then there's a short flashback to the PTL Club days in Charlotte, with no attribution necessary. That's followed by a temptress Jessica Hahn update, care of reporting by The Charlotte Observer a few months ago. Then a bit more history, with no attribution.

Then we're back to information gained by watching the new Bakker show from Branson.

But wait. Read this next part carefully.

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Click-bait aggregation at Washington Post debases New Jersey Catholic girls' hoops story

Click-bait aggregation at Washington Post debases New Jersey Catholic girls' hoops story

We call it click bait; these come-hither headlines that make you want to read whatever’s below them, even if it’s about a topic that doesn’t interest you.

Who can turn away from this headline: Basketball revolt: Make the girls quit or forfeit, N.J. archdiocese told grade schoolers. They forfeited.

Unfortunately, the  piece was highly aggregated, meaning the newsroom team apparently did no original work, but mashed together various accounts from other online sources. And then there were the snide comments to what ran in the Washington Post’s Morning Mix:

The Catholic Church, in its roughly 2,000 years of existence, often has felt the pressures of social change.
Same-sex couples want to get married. Divorcées want to take communion. Girls wanted to be altar servers. Women want to be priests. And in New Jersey this year, elementary schoolers -- particularly the female ones -- want to play basketball.
The cause has mobilized people in two towns in northern New Jersey who feel that, in the year 2017, gender discrimination has no place in athletics.

No mystery here as to what the reporter thinks about the matter. Who is being quoted? Where is this material coming from? These are basic journalism questions.

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Oregonian writer's quick thinking on Dutch Bros Coffee story earned her a zillion hits

Oregonian writer's quick thinking on Dutch Bros Coffee story earned her a zillion hits

Oregonian religion reporter Melissa Binder stumbled onto ratings gold last week when a short and simple story about some fast food employees praying with a distraught woman got her more than 18,000 shares and 310 comments.

People still care about people.

Sometimes it’s the simplest stories that strike the deepest cord. Note: This story takes place in Vancouver, Wash. -- just across the state line from Oregon and about 15 miles north of Portland. It reads:

When Dutch Bros employees noticed a woman in line for coffee Saturday was visibly upset, they offered to talk.
Her husband had died just the night before, she told them. He was only 37.
Pierce Dunn, 19, gave her free coffee and asked if he could pray for her. She said that would help.
Dunn and two other employees leaned out the drive-thru window to hold her hand.
"That moment was absolutely incredible," said Dunn. "It was so emotional. She was crying. I shed a few tears. We've cried since as well. When something that real happens, it hits close to home."
Dunn, who identifies as a Christian, prayed the widow would feel supported and loved, that God would provide peace and help the family mourn.

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Deacon Greg Kandra states the obvious: That Newsweek 'nuns' story was beyond absurd

Deacon Greg Kandra states the obvious: That Newsweek 'nuns' story was beyond absurd

No doubt about it, news professionals do love images of nuns who look like nuns. How many news stories have you seen, in recent years, about tensions between the Vatican and liberal religious orders for women (those who lean toward pant suits and similar business attire) that have been illustrated with photos of old-school nuns wearing traditional habits?

Journalists also like stories about nuns doing things that would shock the public, or at the very least might shock traditional Catholics. Remember this recent example?

This brings me to that recent Newsweek story that ran under this headline (all upper-case letters in the original):

CALIFORNIA NUNS SEEK PROTECTION FOR THEIR CANNABIS BUSINESS

The top of the story offered this information:

Two Northern California habit-wearing nuns, the self-proclaimed “Sisters of the Valley,” say their cannabis business is under threat now that the Merced City Council is considering a full ban on all marijuana cultivation in the city. Should the measure pass next week, Sister Kate and Sister Darcy may need to eliminate the small crop of pot plants they have growing in their garage.
The pair produces salves, tonics and tinctures from the plants they sell on Etsy for pain management.

That produced this epic headline on a response post at Aleteia.org by Deacon Greg Kandra, a former CBS News writer with 26 years of news experience, two Emmys and two Peabody Awards to his credit.

Newsweek, Go Home. You’re Drunk. Those Aren’t Nuns.

Now the key here are two words slipped into the Newsweek lede -- "self-proclaimed." I

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How far did The Economist go to get a hoverboarding priest into its lofty pages?

How far did The Economist go to get a hoverboarding priest into its lofty pages?

OK, so who out there in cyberspace who wasn't tempted to write a post about the Catholic priest in the Philippines who rode you know what around in the center aisle of the church? Who could resist the chance to write a headline like, oh, "Bishop suspends hoverboarding priest." I mean, the bishop could have "left him hanging" or something like that, as well.

It's one thing, I guess to write a basic news story about this strange case. Take for example the basic Religion News Service piece that started like this:

(RNS) Hoverboards earned a reputation as maybe the most dangerous gift for kids this holiday season, given their penchant for catching fire and inducing nasty spills.
But they’re apparently also perilous for Catholic priests who get it into their heads it might be a good idea to use one during Christmas Eve Mass — while congregants are shooting video on their smartphones.

I thought that was that. Alas, there was allegedly more to say on this case and by The Economist, no less.

As former GetReligionista Mark Kellner wrote, in a note pointing us toward this most bizarre piece, "$5, or a candy bar, to the first person who can connect this to reality. Seems to me like an awfully long stretch to work in the priest-on-a-hoverboard."

Amen to that sentiment. You can feel the stretching start right in the epic double-decker headline:

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So is the fallen Mark Salling of 'Glee' a 'Christian' songster or an ex-Christian songster?

So is the fallen Mark Salling of 'Glee' a 'Christian' songster or an ex-Christian songster?

Once again, it's time to venture into the sad world of mainstream media cranking out click-bait pop news in search of social-media action.

On top of all that, this "Morning Mix" mini-feature at The Washington Post -- which appears to involve zero original reporting -- is topped by a headline that doesn't even match the contents of its quickie, URL-driven text.

We will get to the headline. But first, the "news."

It should be said right away: Mark Salling, the former “Glee” cast member arrested on child pornography charges in Los Angeles on Tuesday, has not been convicted of a crime. That, however, did not prevent legions on social media from dissecting the 33-year-old’s career as though it were little more than a fresh corpse just arrived at the morgue. ...
Crime Watch Daily, which broke the story of his arrest, said police used a battering ram to break down Salling’s door and found hundreds of images. Salling has yet to comment on the arrest.

Then a key early hint of what is to come:

... The list of celebrities who recover from child porn scandals is not long. And it’s worth remembering that Salling, a Christian musician who once rocked in the name of the lord, wasn’t even supposed to be here.

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