LOL! On the LA Times religion site?

earmarkPigI have a bookmark set in my browsers that takes me straight to the Los Angeles Times page that contains the newspaper’s religion-news offerings, no matter where they appear in the newspaper.

Often there are stories linked to politics — think social issues — that are on A1 but don’t get listed as “religion” stories. We call those “haunted” stories around this here weblog.

Then you have a story like this one. This made me laugh out loud.

I think someone linked to the online edition got a bit trigger happy, deciding that anything linked to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin must now, in some way or another, be linked to religion or fundamentalism or what have you. I thought that Dr. James Dobson was the only person who could find clear theological content in this kind of political issue. Or, this is religion to someone like former Sen. Bob Dole, maybe.

Ready? Read on! From the religion-news page:

ANCHORAGE – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin presents herself as an ally of presidential candidate John McCain when it comes to curbing wasteful government spending.

On Friday, when McCain introduced her as his running mate, she said she “championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending,” the legislative technique used to slip projects into appropriations bills without rigorous congressional review. But under her leadership, the state of Alaska has requested 31 earmarks worth $197.8 million in next year’s federal budget, according to the website of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Palin has recently been publicly critical of requests made in past years by Stevens and others for $223 million in federal funds for a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska, to Gravina Island, calling it “the Bridge to Nowhere,” a derogatory label critics attached to the project.

As a candidate for governor in 2006, she backed funding for the bridge.

Read it all, please. Make my day.

Can anyone find a term or two in this story that led the copy desk’s computer program to shuffle it over to RELIGION?

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Dale

    Uhhhh. . . . “reform to end the abuses”?

    Maybe they’ve had a slew of Reformation stories?

  • Jerry

    How this for justification: Four years ago the right attacked Kerry for being a hypocritical flip-flopper. Now that Palin’s flip-flopping is being reported on and it seems she’s guilty of the same sin as Kerry was accused of. Since sin is a significant theological topic, clearly the story has at least a religious ghost.
    So, did I succeed in twisting logic into sufficiently fancy shapes to prove a point? If so, maybe I have a new career in advertising especially political advertising.

  • http://suburbanbanshee.wordpress.com Maureen

    They’re being sensitive to Cargo Cult religious concerns.

  • Dave

    Maybe the hypocrisy of being “for it before she was against it” tickled someone’s religion button?

    At least we can agree that coverage of this issue is more legitimate than the dithering about her daughter’s pregnancy.


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