Kaepernick vs. Tebow? Washington Post passes along flawed take on a crucial heresy

Kaepernick vs. Tebow? Washington Post passes along flawed take on a crucial heresy

It's a question I have heard over and over during the nearly 14 years that GetReligion has been online. It's a question that I am hearing more and more often these days, as the reality of online economics shapes what we read, see and hear.

The question: Why doesn't GetReligion address journalism issues in opinion pieces, as well as in hard-news stories?

After all, major news organizations keep running more opinion pieces about major events and trends in the news, often in place of actual news coverage. Why does this keep happening?

There are several obvious reasons. First, as your GetReligionistas keep noting, opinion is cheap and hard-news reporting is expensive. All kinds of people are willing to write opinion pieces for next to nothing, while reporting requires lots of time and effort by professionals who, you know, need salaries.

Opinion pieces are also written to provoke and, most of the time, to make true believers shout "Amen!" before they pass along (click, click, click) URLs on Twitter or Facebook. You can usually tell a news organization's worldview by the number of opinion pieces it runs that lean one way or another, while appealing to core readers. In the South this is called "preaching to the choir." Check out the opinion-to-news ratio in the typical "push" email promo package sent out each morning by The Washington Post.

It also helps that it's hard to blame news organizations for the slant or content of opinion pieces they publish. Editors can say, and this is true: Hey, don't blame us, that's his/her opinion.

Finally, there is a deeper question behind this question: How does one critique an opinion piece on issues of balance, fairness and even accuracy? After all, it's not real news. It's just opinion.

Yes, I am asking these questions for a reason. Yesterday, my Twitter feed was buzzing with reactions to an "Acts of Faith" essay published by The Washington Post. It was written by Michael Frost, an evangelism professor who is the vice principal of Morling College, a Baptist institution in Sydney, Austrailia.

The headline: "Colin Kaepernick vs. Tim Tebow: A tale of two Christians on their knees."

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Hey CNN, God sure would help explain former trafficked orphan's 'journey of hope'

Hey CNN, God sure would help explain former trafficked orphan's 'journey of hope'

Via Twitter, @mrsangrygrandma does a bit of ghostbusting for us, wondering about this new feature from CNN:

@GetReligion CNN mentions the pastor and faith-based org that trafficked boys, but what about whistleblowers' faith? http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/12/us/given-kachepa-orphan-trafficked-choir/index.html

If you're new to GetReligion, "holy ghosts" are — as our own Terry Mattingly explained at this journalism-focused blog's beginning — those "facts and stories and faces linked to the power of religious faith" that so often fail to show up in mainstream news reports.

Need an example? The piece shared by the reader above is, unfortunately, a classic one.

Let's start at the top:

(CNN) Dr. Given Kachepa strides confidently into his practice, greeting a 17-year-old patient who's come in to have her braces tightened.
"Hello. How are you?"
Life in the United States is quite different now for the 29-year-old Kachepa, compared to how it started as an 11-year-old orphan.
From his office, filled with fading family photos and handicrafts from his native Zambia, he reflects on how he first bought in to the allure of the American Dream.
"I came to the United States without a dollar in my pocket," says Dr. Kachepa. "The only thing I had was hope."

Keep reading, and CNN shares how Kachepa fell victim to a pastor who turned out to be a human trafficker. But eventually, his shattered hope was restored by a loving foster mother:

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Was Catholic 'teaching' involved in latest Ireland scandal?

If I have heard this statement once at pro-life rallies I have heard it a hundred times: There are crisis pregnancies, but there is no such thing — in the eyes of God — as an unwanted child. This statement is especially popular with doctrinally conservative Catholics. So, try to combine that thought with the news coming out of Ireland. This is from the Associated Press:

DUBLIN – The Catholic Church in Ireland is facing fresh accusations of child neglect after a researcher found records for 796 young children believed to be buried in a mass grave beside a former orphanage for the children of unwed mothers.

The researcher, Catherine Corless, says her discovery of child death records at the Catholic nun-run home in Tuam, County Galway, suggests that a former septic tank filled with bones is the final resting place for most, if not all, of the children.

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