Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee had an impressive Super Tuesday and his victory speech was covered by all the networks and major media outlets. His speech was filled with religious imagery. ABC News’ Jake Tapper filed a great report on Huckabee’s standing, full of his notable context and analysis.
But, uh, check out these two paragraphs:
Huckabee’s message to supporters Tuesday night tweaked the institutional support and millions of dollars enjoyed by Romney, and he spoke with the biblical flourishes that the Baptist minister often adds to his speeches.
“Tonight, we are making sure America understands that sometimes, one small smooth stone is sometimes more effective than a whole lot of armor,” Huckabee told supporters. “And we’ve also seen that the winner’s might has more effectiveness than all the gold in the world.”
Tapper claims that Huckabee used biblical flourishes. And he did. You can read the full speech here. He compared himself to David of David and Goliath fame and he invoked Jesus’ own words about the widow’s mite.
Not, you will note, the winner’s might.
The reader who sent along the story had this to say:
ABC News is Biblically illiterate. When they are covering Mike Huckabee they really need someone who can recognize a reference to a passage that is widely known among educated people even if they are not church goers.
It is an unfortunate mistake. For future reference, journalists should note that the reference is from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12:
Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
When reporters don’t even get the reference, they can’t really be expected to ask any pertinent questions about whether Huckabee’s comparisons to biblical figures are apt or appropriate. This is why newsroom diversity is so important. Wasn’t there someone on the copy desk or in the newsroom who knew this basic fact about the New Testament?
UPDATE: The story has been fixed.