Eight GetReligion comments after eight years

Eight years ago, the Rt. Rev. Douglas LeBlanc clicked a button with his mouse and GetReligion went live. I wrote the first post on Feb. 1, 2004, but the site actually kicked into gear the next day.

That opening post talked about religion “ghosts” in many mainstream news stories. If you have never read that post, then by all means click here. That top of that what-we-are-doing-here manifesto looks like this:

Day after day, millions of Americans who frequent pews see ghosts when they pick up their newspapers or turn on television news.

They read stories that are important to their lives, yet they seem to catch fleeting glimpses of other characters or other plots between the lines. There seem to be other ideas or influences hiding there.

One minute they are there. The next they are gone. There are ghosts in there, hiding in the ink and the pixels. Something is missing in the basic facts or perhaps most of the key facts are there, yet some are twisted. Perhaps there are sins of omission, rather than commission.

A lot of these ghosts are, well, holy ghosts. They are facts and stories and faces linked to the power of religious faith. Now you see them. Now you don’t. In fact, a whole lot of the time you don’t get to see them. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Of course, we do more than stalk ghosts.

We also try to spotlight errors in coverage and we strive to praise solid reporting on the beat. We came up with the “Got news?” concept when we kept seeing incredibly interesting stories in blogs and specialty websites that never seem to make it into the mainstream. The 5Q+1 series lets readers hear, every now and then, from interesting professionals who work on the religion-news beat or whose journalism work on other topics often veers into religion news (we’d love to do more of the latter, frankly).

One of the quotes I keep in mind, when looking for material for the site, is that oft-quoted (certainly around here) line from Bill Moyers, the one about the fact that far too many mainstream journalists are “tone deaf” when it comes to hearing the music of faith in public issues. They, yes, just don’t “get religion.” They suffer from a lack of information, or interest, or imagination.

So, this is GetReligion’s eighth birthday. What should we do in order to celebrate, in the midst of another crazy working week?

OK, here are eight observations from moi about what I have learned in eight years of work here. There are many more that could be made. I am trying to stick to basics. I do hope the other GetReligionistas chime in.

* GetReligion is not a blog about religion news. It’s a blog about how the mainstream press struggles to cover religion news. We have roughly 89,000 comments on this site and we would have at least twice that if we allowed readers to shout at each other about the content of religious ISSUES in the news, instead of attempting to steer comments toward discussions about media coverage of those issues.

* Lots of people hate religion and lots of religious people hate journalism (especially when journalists print information that they dislike). GetReligion has tried to stay focused on basic, accurate, balanced mainstream coverage of religion. Yes, there are skilled, experienced professionals out there who sincerely attempt to do that job and they do it well. Yes, there are plenty of examples of train wrecks in mainstream religion coverage. They are too common. But they are not the whole story.

* What we are dealing with is a Blind Spot with two sides. In other words, the two halves of the First Amendment do not get along very well. Plenty of journalists do not seem to respect the powerful and essential role that religious faith plays in this land. Plenty of religious people do not seem to respect the powerful and essential role that a free press plays in this land.

* The bottom line: The state of American journalism will be improved by people who love journalism, not by those who hate it. Get with the program.

* No one knows what the word “evangelical” means, including evangelical leaders. It’s like defining fog. At the same time, this is a word that describes a movement of religious believers, not a movement of registered GOP voters. It’s time to stop treating it like a political term. Meanwhile, the word “fundamentalist” has a meaning and it can be found in an accurate reference in the Associated Press Stylebook. Many journalists still need to look that up.

* When in doubt, reporters should accurately quote people — rather than continuing to slap vague and often inaccurate labels on their foreheads.

* When specific flocks of religious believers keep saying, year after year, that journalists are printing inaccurate information about what they believe, journalists should (a) take that seriously and then (b) tell these believers to come down to the local newsroom with stacks of on-the-record reference materials that explain the basics. Then everyone exchanges business cards and promises to return phone calls. It’s journalism, folks.

* At some point in the future, there’s going to be a story that involves Episcopalians, same-sex marriage, Mormons, post-Vatican II liturgical rites and vampires and the server that hosts this blog is going to blow up.

And, one more time, did anyone out there really listen to what Bill Keller said the other day in Austin? I am still depressed.

Onward into year No. 9.

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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.

  • Mark Baddeley

    At some point in the future, there’s going to be a story that involves Episcopalians, same-sex marriage, Mormons, post-Vatican II liturgical rites and vampires and the server that hosts this blog is going to blow up.

    Could we please extend GetReligion’s interest in journalism’s struggle to report on religious news to include stories about vampires?
    :D

  • Jerry

    What I’ve learned from reading and commenting on GR posts:

    Lesson 0: Before starting to read GR, I already knew that the media lives on sensationalism and highlighting controversy. Finding positive stories in the MSM is rare.

    Lesson 1: It’s absolutely vital to view what is reported critically. I used to basically accept what I read and saw as being basically fair and accurate. No longer. I’m much more skeptical than I used to be.

    Lesson 2: Beware the reporter’s mental filter. The classic quote about this is I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

    Lesson 2a: I’ve had what I wrote here misinterpreted as well with my intent not being understood. Sometimes that has been due to my poor choice of words.

    Lesson 3: Any word can be nitpicked to death at which point the meaning disappears into the fog. Evangelical is one such word but there are others.

    Lesson 4: Any word can be misused, ignoring the meaning. The word fundamentalist is a classic example.

    Lesson 5: Basic fact checking is useful and easily done. Two minutes with a search engine can usually give me a good indication about what is going on. Any story that passes this relatively superficial test goes up in my estimation.

    Lesson 6: Even people striving for objectivity display bias. GR bloggers display selection bias. For example, if there’s a story about Islam, I’m usually correct in assuming Mollie wrote it.

    Lesson 6a: There’s nothing evil in selection bias. People focus on what interests them. It’s human nature.

    Lesson 7: People, especially including reporters, tend to oversimplify situations. There are many times I’ve seen a post with “SOME” highlighted.

    Lesson 8: Confirmation bias is a significant problem. Too many people ignore what does not conform to their pre-existing prejudice. I’ve seen this reflected primarily in comments on posts. For what it’s worth, I’ve observed my self committing this “sin”.

    I might think of other lessons, but this list came to mind easily.

  • Mark Baddeley

    Great list, Jerry.

  • http://getreligion.org Bobby Ross Jr.

    Lesson 6: Even people striving for objectivity display bias. GR bloggers display selection bias. For example, if there’s a story about Islam, I’m usually correct in assuming Mollie wrote it.

    Lesson 6a: There’s nothing evil in selection bias. People focus on what interests them. It’s human nature.

    I don’t know if “bias” is the right word. I think GR bloggers tend to focus on areas in which they see themselves as most well-versed and able to make an intelligent analysis. In newsrooms, writers have beats and areas of specialities. I think to some extent GR bloggers have unofficial beats, although certainly everyone gravitates into a wide variety of areas.

    In any case, Jerry, your comments are appreciated. On more than one occasion, you have saved this GetReligionista from a comment-less post. :-)

  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    JERRY:

    Do some hard research. I think you’ll find that I have written far more often on Islam than MZ.

    Now, the WomenPriests? No contest.

  • Martha

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear GetReligion, happy birthday to you!

    There probably is a post-Vatican II rite to do with vampires; I’m betting there was definitely a pre-Vatican II one (probably in that section of the “Rituale Romanum” they don’t put up online in case we laity get ideas).
    :-D

  • Will

    What is TheVatican’s position on ordination of gay vampires? The People want to know.

  • http://kingslynn.blogspot.com C. Wingate

    Hmmmmm, it seems to me that one of the big messages here is that in journalism selection bias is evil, because journalists are often uninterested in religion even when it manifestly is important to their readership or in understanding what is going on in the things they are interested in.

  • Julia
  • Jon in the Nati

    Episcopalians, same-sex marriage, Mormons, post-Vatican II liturgical rites and vampires

    All of these things? In one story?

    Two observations:
    1- I can’t wait to read it.
    2- The Internet will break. Not just this server; the entire Internet.

  • Julia

    At some point in the future, there’s going to be a story that involves Episcopalians, same-sex marriage, Mormons, post-Vatican II liturgical rites and vampires and the server that hosts this blog is going to blow up.

    For your consideration: a manga series called Hellsing. It includes the Vatican, vampires, knights, Protestants, Anglicans, traditional Catholics, Nazis SS vampire troops and even Fundamentalism.

    Here’s some of Wikipedia’s entry on the Vatican’s vampire-fighters in Hellsing:

    Iscariot is a fictional organization from the manga series Hellsing.
    The Iscariot Organization, named after Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, is a top-secret wing of the Vatican (the section that’s not supposed to exist) charged with the active pursuit and extermination of demons (such as vampires) and heretics. Given that the Hellsing Organization not only employs vampires but is run on the principles of staunch Protestantism, Iscariot is their natural rival, despite their similar aims.
    The Iscariot ‘paladins’ are the elite fighting force of the Iscariot Organization. They appear wearing long cassocks and crosses…. They are known to fight with a wide variety of weapons, usually as necessitated by the situation (for example, Alexander Anderson wields blessed bayonets that are especially effective against vampires
    [snip]
    Iscariot also has a bitter rivalry with Hellsing, due to their differing ideologies. Hellsing is an Anglican organization, while Iscariot is a Roman Catholic organization. Also, it is implied that Hellsing kills vampires because of what they “do”. Hellsing will not attack a vampire unless it poses a threat to the Church of England or to the British Crown.
    [Iscariot] may be traditionalist Catholics or practice a form of Catholic beliefs mixed in with elements similar to (and somewhat ironically, given it was started and is practiced primarily by Protestants) Christian Fundamentalism.
    [snip]
    Most of the Iscariot Organization’s troops were killed during the Nazi invasion of London. Some were initially killed fighting the vampire SS troops;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iscariot_(Hellsing)

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Love the list, Jerry, even if I’m not sure you’re right that I cover more stories related to Islam than others. I certainly don’t cover more than Terry, but I do try to cover them as I’m able. I’m about to review my work over the last year, though, and I’ll go ahead and tally which stories I hit repeatedly.

  • tmatt

    Oh, and MZ, congrats on being signed as the new first baseperson for the St. Louis Cardinals.

    You said it happened, so it must be true, even though the Cards have not confirmed it.

  • Bill

    Has it been eight years already?

    Thank you!

  • Bonnie Lindblom

    Happy Birthday, GetReligion! And many more. Keep up the good work.

  • carl

    I don’t hate the media. I (accurately) perceieve it to be my ideological enemy. It has nothing to do with the media printing information I don’t like. It rather stems from the firm conviction that the media is a non-objective partisan in the culture war masquerading as an objective non-partisan. If the media is now admitting that it is indeed overtly partisan in the culture war, that must mean the media no longer feels the need to hide its true nature.

    I should also point out that my attitude towards the media pre-dates the culture war, and extends back to Vietnam. I have never and will never forgive the media for acting as a surrogate of the North Vietnamese Ministry of Propaganda during that war. The military learned much from Vietnam. I thought it quite effectively put the media on a leash in Iraq. Made my heart all warm and cosy inside.

    carl

  • Home on the Range

    Wow…8 years already?? Happy, happy birthday!! And may you have many, many more! :D

    I’m so glad this blog exists….I’ve learned so much about how to read the media and how to respond to the biases therein.

    And, btw…..everything Carl said. I haven’t been a fan of the media since Vietnam days, either. But this blog has helped to mitigate some of my bitterness. So, thank you for that. :D

  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    The problem, of course, is that Carl is simply wrong.

    Or he’s half right.

    There’s reason to be angry about some of what goes on. But it’s simply simplistic to say that there is ONE MEDIA, one approach out there. You have to ignore the good in order to say that everything is wrong.

    It’s not fair to good reporters. It’s not fair to those who do good work.

    If one is Christian, it’s also bad theology — but that’s another issue.

  • Jerry

    JERRY:

    Do some hard research. I think you’ll find that I have written far more often on Islam than MZ.

    I went back a few months and found that Mollie beats tmatt 22 to 13 in stories with the Islam “category” from the following list. Now some are in that category I think by error or because Islam is an incidental part of the story, but I don’t think you can get all the way to Terry beating Mollie, at least in the past few months. So unless one of you want to do a similar piece of hard research with different criteria to prove me wrong, I WIN! :-) Even if you do, I think I’ve sufficiently explained why I have the opinion I do.

    Anwar al-Awlakis many faces: Mollie
    Big day at Supreme Court for religious freedom: Mollie
    The ethics of monitoring Muslims: Mollie
    The Nobel Prize and the practice of prayer: Mollie
    Do U.S. law and sharia conflict? How? : Mollie
    Meet Afghanistans evangelicals: Mollie
    Moderation can be a virtue: Mollie
    Jihadis, but no models, in Libya: Mollie
    Sharia comes to Libya: Mollie
    Finding religion at Occupy Wall Street: Mollie
    Pod people: sharia comes to Wall Street? : Mollie
    Wahhabis in short pants: Mollie
    Is it terrorism or mental illness? : Mollie
    Free speech meets firebombs: Mollie
    Lost Tanakh in Zuccotti Park: Mollie
    Moroccan moderates, skip the details: Mollie
    Bible bans and Muslim boycotts: Mollie
    Persecuting Pakistani Christians: Mollie
    Fear and loathing in Nigeria: Mollie
    Terrorist financing and the missing link: Mollie
    Egypts moderate and puritanical Muslims: Mollie
    What motivated the Pentagon shooter? : Mollie

    Time to nix sectarian in Egyptian reports: tmatt
    Define Egyptian liberal; give three examples: tmatt
    Ghost in the alleged Iranian spy plot: tmatt
    Ghosts in the military burial scandal: tmatt
    The Sun cheers for modest swimming: tmatt
    How do you track a lone wolf terrorist? : tmatt
    On Egypt: Trying to predict the future votes: tmatt
    Born-again Muslims and, uh, the trinity: tmatt
    Post returns to military cemetery (landfill): tmatt
    Got news? No midnight Christmas Mass in Iraq: tmatt
    Bombs, sects and questions in Nigeria: tmatt
    Open thread on 2011 religion news: tmatt
    An Egypt story more readers will, uh, read: tmatt

  • CarlH

    Happy birthday! And Many Happy Returns!

    I didn’t find GR until about 5 years ago, so I missed out on a lot (and I’m the poorer for it). I really do appreciate the work that goes into the blogging (and the comment flogging, all too often necessary here). Keep up the good work, you’re all fighting a good fight–even if it sometimes seems like a losing battle.

  • R9

    Apart from the Islam coverage, my powers of deep deduction also tell me Mollie is not a fan of Planned Parenthood. Gay marriage was another recurring theme previously.

    (Reminds me, I’m still working on ideas for the GR drinking game. Mollie calls something breathless, Geoconger attacks the Beeb or the British press, someone points a blatant rant in the comments and tries to get away with it by prefacing with “what I’d like to see the press cover is…”. All suggestions gratefully received.)

    I kid, because this place is never going to escape a conservative-christian skew. But I do think GR performs a useful function and that the writers (especially Tmatt) believe in goodobjective journalism. So, do carry on.

  • carl jacobs

    tmatt

    I am considerably more than half right. Where should I go? To what journalistic organization should I turn to find one that is not overwhelmingly characterized by a relentlessly modern world view? To the NY Times, or the Chicago Tribune, or the LA Times? To USA Today? My local paper the subscription to which I cancelled 15 years ago because I was tired of paying for the privilege of being insulted every morning?

    If I should listen to All Things Considered or Morning Edition, it is there. If I turn on ABC, or CBS, or NBC? Perhaps MSNBC or perhaps CNN and its many affiliates, it is there. If I venture outside the country and listen to the BBC or As it Happens on CBC, it is there. If I open the pages of Time and Newsweek, it is there. If I turn on ESPN it is there. I find the same relentlessly institutionalized presupposition that man is defined by his autonomy; that he is and by right ought to be a self-governing creature free to live as he pleases.

    Now two organs should be conspicuous by their absence from my above list. One is FoxNews, which rather proves the rule by its exceptional status. But then “real journalists” don’t consider FoxNews to be journalism. They think it a sophisticated version of Rush Limbaugh. So what should I make of that? The other is the Wall Street Journal. Certainly it is a more conservative outlet, but can I really say it is my ally in the culture war? I admit both prove your point that I was generalizing. I just happen to think my generalization is overwhelmingly accurate.

    You want me to judge the individual journalists in an organization. I judge the organization knowing full well there are statistical outliers present within it. They are of course considered outliers for a reason.

    carl

  • R9

    If you want to see journalists as the enemy, I’m sure you’ll always find a reason to do so if you try hard enough.

  • Marie

    Journalism is heading downhill because they still don’t have editors that edit (I want a dollar for every poorly constructed sentence I see in the WashPost) and reporters who have a better understanding of the topic they’re reporting on, be it religion or economic theory.
    Great job on 8 years. Now let’s get to ten and then have a party.

  • Jettboy

    “I am considerably more than half right. Where should I go? To what journalistic organization should I turn to find one that is not overwhelmingly characterized by a relentlessly modern world view? To the NY Times, or the Chicago Tribune, or the LA Times? To USA Today? My local paper the subscription to which I cancelled 15 years ago because I was tired of paying for the privilege of being insulted every morning?

    If I should listen to All Things Considered or Morning Edition, it is there. If I turn on ABC, or CBS, or NBC? Perhaps MSNBC or perhaps CNN and its many affiliates, it is there. If I venture outside the country and listen to the BBC or As it Happens on CBC, it is there. If I open the pages of Time and Newsweek, it is there. If I turn on ESPN it is there. I find the same relentlessly institutionalized presupposition that man is defined by his autonomy; that he is and by right ought to be a self-governing creature free to live as he pleases.

    Now two organs should be conspicuous by their absence from my above list. One is FoxNews, which rather proves the rule by its exceptional status. But then “real journalists” don’t consider FoxNews to be journalism. They think it a sophisticated version of Rush Limbaugh. So what should I make of that? The other is the Wall Street Journal. Certainly it is a more conservative outlet, but can I really say it is my ally in the culture war? I admit both prove your point that I was generalizing. I just happen to think my generalization is overwhelmingly accurate.

    You want me to judge the individual journalists in an organization. I judge the organization knowing full well there are statistical outliers present within it. They are of course considered outliers for a reason.”

    This needs quoted and repeated again and again and again . . .

    I don’t come here to learn how journalist have messed up or ignored religious topics. That is a given. I come here to vicariously mock journalist ignorance, bias, and bigotry. I certainly wouldn’t read or watch them to write about them. That is giving them too much credit.

  • http://sarahboylewebber.blogspot.com/ Sarah Webber

    Happy, happy birthday! Seriously, can we have a real party for 10 years? And meet the writers?

    And we really must have a drinking game as well. The Tmatt Trio used to work well, but those references aren’t as common as they used to be.

  • Suzanne

    I would submit that when a journalist says something like “We can never please that crowd,” people like carl and Jettboy are precisely who he’s talking about.

  • MJBubba

    I have been a GetReligion fan since the beginning, as I was reading TMatt’s “On Religion” column on-line before GetReligion got started. (I was reading on-line because my local paper had carried, and then dropped, the column. Shame on them.)
    I think GetReligion is Pulitzer-worthy. Professor Mattingly deserves a Pulitzer for relentless advocacy for the “American model” of journalism with respect to coverage of religious life and issues.
    Mollie deserves a Pulitzer of her own for calling out MSM anti-Roman Catholic bias (I say this as a fan; I, like Mollie, am a confessional Lutheran.)
    I especially appreciate the active monitoring that y’all do to keep discussion threads at least nominally related to journalism. I also find that, though some of us regular commenters have fiercely different outlooks, we all find GetReligion a fair place to discuss how these issues should be investigated and explained.
    As a non-journalist I am greatly appreciative of the lessons I have gained at GetReligion into how journalism works, though I have to confess that I agree with Carl Jacobs’ assessment that mass media journalism in America is far and away dominated by the secularist side of the culture wars. I consider big media to be an enemy of anyone who makes a spiritual truth claim.
    And as an exception to the rule, Fox does not count. They are not even a competent voice for conservatism, let alone Christianity or even “religion.” Their roots in celebrity gossip continue to show through. And, as was pointed out here at GetReligion about seven years ago, the Wall Street Journal is only conservative on their editorial page, and they also are not much interested in serving as a voice for religion in the same way as the rest of big media seem to promote irreligion.

  • carl jacobs

    Suzanne says:

    I would submit that when a journalist says something like “We can never please that crowd,” people like carl and Jettboy are precisely who he’s talking about.

    What evidence can you present that they have ever tried to ‘please’ me? Why do you think they would be greatly disturbed if they failed? This is where I point to Bill Keller’s remarks and say “You see, I’ve been saying that was the case for years.” The the former editor of the NY Times has simply admitted what anyone with eyes to see already knew was established fact. And not just about the NY Times. I didn’t list all those news organizations above at random. What has been admitted about the NY Times is true of many others.

    Do you know why the press doesn’t ‘get religion?’ Because it is populated top to bottom with people who think, act and live according to a non-religious worldview. They judge religion though that non-religious world view and (amazingly enough) find it wanting. They see themselves as presenting an orthodoxy of reason and logic when in fact they are simply acting in accordance with and actively propagating their own belief system. Journalism is actively becoming a secular church where only the committed orthodox secular believer need apply for membership. And, no, ‘secular believer’ is not an oxymoron.

    A journalist could ‘please’ me. He could admit his biases up front, and declare himself an open partisan. He could adopt my worldview, and act accordingly. He could conduct himself like Brian Lamb on C-SPAN for whom I have volumes of respect. For all the interviews I watched by Brian Lamb, I still have no idea of the content of his opinions. What he does instead is simply assume the truth of his world view in his stories, and act as if no rational thinking person could possibly come to any other conclusion. It is an attitude guaranteed to produce condescension and contempt towards those who refuse to bend the knee to modernism. That is what I see as the endemic nature of the modern journalist, and that is why I react against him in the way that I do.

    carl

  • R9

    If you want to argue that journalists tend to be secular types, and that it can have a skewing effect on coverage, I think that’s quite reasonable.

    But you’re going into some crazy realm of swearing blood oaths to oppose your mortal enemy.

  • carl jacobs

    R9

    If you want to argue that journalists tend to be secular types, and that it can have a skewing effect on coverage, I think that’s quite reasonable.

    No, it doesn’t ‘skew’ the coverage. It shapes the coverage. It forms the coverage. It provides the foundation for the coverage. There is a huge difference.

    But you’re going into some crazy realm of swearing blood oaths to oppose your mortal enemy.

    Umm … sure. Now why don’t you demonstrate that assertion from what I wrote. btw, that insertion of ‘crazy’ was a nice little ad hominem. A subtle piece of communication intended to indicate to the reader that I am ‘off the rails.’ And the ‘blood oath’ stuff? Good use of imagery to carry an argument without bothering to actually make it.

    What I said can be summarized as “Journalism is converging on a monolithic world view. To be a journalist, it is becoming necessary to hold that world view. Journalists are actively promoting that world view in their work.” If that world view positively hates what I love (and it does), and loves what I hate (and it does), then how can it not be my ideological enemy? It is seeking to drive me from the public square. How much more evidence do I need?

    carl

  • Jettboy

    They declared a “blood oath” as you say, on us religious conservatives (and Republicans) a long time ago. I am returning their contempt. I don’t have to hang out with people who hate me. Why would I?

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ David W. Robertson

    tmatt:

    So, where can I get my piece of GR’s birthday cake?

    By the way, if you want to destroy GR’s server, then just publish a story about how the MSM white-washes the polytheistic teachings of Mormonism. At least half of Utah’s residents would come after GR with pitchforks and torches.

    Either that, or simply report that vampires don’t actually exist. Teenage fans of “Twilight” would come after GR with pitchforks and torches.

    If neither of the above suggestions provoke destruction, then announce that there is no cake. I’ll be handing out the pitchforks and torches.

  • MJBubba

    Jettboy (#32), we have to hang out with the big media journalism, even though they treat us with contempt and distort our views. Our people still go to big media sources for information. Even the folk who have limited their news sources to blogs and talk radio have the big media as the source, the original news-gatherers, with the conservative blogs and talk radio generally just serving as aggregators and filters.
    I am hopeful that somewhere there are schools of journalism that understand Professor Mattingly’s call for diversity of religious thought in newsrooms, and hopeful that somewhere there is a big media outlet that is beginning to think that a reversion to the “American model” of journalism would be a good way to distinguish their news organization from the rest of the left-lurching pack. Until they do, Fox will continue to be profitable just by being different, without needing to actually be competent.


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