Lame pope coverage at Slate

Slate‘s JPII lineup is less than ideal. First we get two articles that ran in 2003 — one moderately interesting explanation of how the voting will go for the next pope and a piece by Beliefnet’s Steve Waldman that makes a lot of jokes without really handicapping the race for the next pope. Then we have a short, bloodless exchange between the “Catholic Right vs. the Catholic Left on John Paul II’s Legacy.” The partners in dialogue are Michael McGough and Deal Hudson. And — yes — Hudson does use much of his space to flak for Republicans. Christopher Hitchens weighs in with his usual drunken bombast, but this denunciation doesn’t even rise to the level of his attempt to pour cold water on Ronald Reagan. Rounding out the coverage is a summary of today’s newspapers and a piece by television critic Dana Stevens, who complains that network coverage is turning the pope’s “death agony into a peepshow,” which is “accompanied by blow by blow by perky newscasters.” Better, please.

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  • EV

    A sharp and enlightening analysis of the politics that will be at play as the Cardinals gather to select the next pope was given by Nat’l Catholic Reporter’s Vatican correspondent, John Allen, at a Catholic conference in Anaheim in February. One can read that analysis online: http://www.the-tidings.com/2005/0304/papacies.htm

    However, the article does not convey Allen’s lively style and quick wit. For that you can hear him on tape. It’s #7-02, “Four Papacies” under Sunday’s workshops: https://www.csctapes.com/tapes/rec05.htm

  • Tom Breen

    Salon’s coverage was pretty weak, too. It looks like they just put up two articles on Saturday – a Q&A with a Rutgers professor and a piece mostly about the phrase “culture of life” – but both were off the front page by this morning, which had no papal news whatsoever. The lead story this morning was a review of the new Aimee Mann album.

    I have to say, on the coverage of the pope’s death, print has been leading the way, doing a far better job than TV (which has had some good moments) and the online venues.


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