The latest Bible ruckus: Oh those camels!

KENNETH ASKS: With new research questioning the Bible’s report that domesticated camels existed as early as Genesis, the efforts to knock this down appear defensive rather than empirical. But Rebekah was certainly watering something. Thoughts? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: Some breathless online news headlines from recent weeks: “Camel Bones Suggest Error in Bible” (Fox News) [Read More...]

Sharp reporting exposes anti-Israel PCUSA study

I once made a Presbyterian leader sputter. Didn’t mean to. I just asked a question about the Middle East that he didn’t like. Things like that happen. He was a Palestinian-American activist who was addressing the Religion Newswriters Association several years ago. His topic was the need to divest stocks of companies that did business [Read More...]

Wait a minute: First EVER married Maronite Catholic priest?

Several years ago, while working on my contribution to the book “Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion,” I called up one of the patriarchs of the religion beat, Richard Ostling, to discuss the craft that he practiced so well for many years at Time and then with the Associated Press. These days, of course, [Read More...]

Camels and tigers and bears, oh my!

The silly season is early this year. With editors and most top-tier reporters away in August on vacation (along with the subjects of their stories — need to set the proper precedence of seniority at the start of this story) the late summer is the time when the second team knocks out stories that leave [Read More...]

On the cautious use of loaded terms such as ‘messianism’

So let’s try this again. The other day I wrote about a news report that ran in The Los Angeles Times that used a very interesting and, in the context of Israel and the Middle East, very loaded term. Here is the lede on that piece, once again: WASHINGTON – The White House on Tuesday [Read More...]

Whoa! Was John Kerry being too messianic or Messianic?

Holy dictionary! Talk about leaving a crucial term in a story undefined, unexplained, unattributed or all of the above. I almost spit my Diet Dr Pepper all over my iPad this morning (which is easier to clean than a computer keyboard, just sayin’) when I read the top of this Los Angeles Times report about [Read More...]

WPost whoppers about the Muslim Brotherhood

Claims of bias and inaccurate reporting have dogged the Western press’s coverage of Egypt since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. A story in this week’s Washington Post entitled “In Egypt, many shrug as freedoms disappear” will do little to restore confidence. The article eschews the classical news story format in favor of an impressions and [Read More...]

News flash! AP ends the Great Schism of 1054!

Many moons ago — just under a quarter of a century — I covered a major ecumenical event in the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado. I believe it was a festive Divine Eucharist marking the departure of Bishop William C. Frey, as he exited to serve as dean and president of the Trinity School for Ministry. [Read More...]


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