Yes! Pope Francis is not from Europe! (updated)

All together now: Raise your hands if you wanted to throw something at the television screen the 666th time, or thereabouts, that CNN put up that graphic announcing that the newly named Pope Francis — formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina — was the “first non-European pope.” For the moment, let’s set aside St. [Read More...]

Interviewing ‘everyone’ about the conclave

I love that biting Leonard Cohen song “Everybody Knows.” It begins: Everybody knows that the dice are loaded Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed Everybody knows the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich That’s how it goes, everybody [Read More...]

Remember to substantiate charges

The International Business Times sure has a scoop. Headline: Conclave 2013: Pope Benedict XVI ‘Did Nothing’ to Stop Paedophile Priest Nello Giraudo The headline phrasing makes it seem like the conclave decided that Pope Benedict XVI “did nothing” to stop a pedophile priest. Or at least someone said he “did nothing” to stop a bad [Read More...]

Pod people: Can journalism be a civilizing influence?

On this week’s Crossroads podcast, host Todd Wilken and I talked about recent admissions from the mainstream media about the difficulty they’ve had treating traditional marriage proponents with any justice or decency. Some of the best content we had on the blog this week came from a correspondent, who is a journalist, who weighed in [Read More...]

Antisemitism and when context matters for the NY Times

This week, the conservative Weekly Standard broke a story that was headlined: Michelle Obama and John Kerry to Honor Anti-Semite and 9/11 Fan. Written by Samuel Tadros, the story explains that an award was going to be given today from the U.S. State Department to a Muslim woman from Egypt: Samira Ibrahim, as the State [Read More...]

Fake bishop or episcopi vagantes?

Media outlets had a lot of fun with a recent story about a Vatican gatecrasher. A sample of the headlines include Time: Fake Bishop Tries to Sneak into Vatican Meeting; Vanity Fair: Theological Espionage! Fake Bishop Sneaks Into Vatican; NPR: At The Vatican, ‘No Rush’ To Set Conclave; And A Fake Bishop Tries To Get [Read More...]

Critical thinking would help reporters cover gay debates

Yesterday we looked at some of this week’s worst examples of some major media’s trouble covering homosexuality or same-sex marriage. It was what I was thinking about as I ruminated on a first-person essay on TheAtlantic.com headlined: There Probably Isn’t Any Neutral Way to Report on Homosexuality Journalists could do better at conveying the best [Read More...]

Can the press cover traditionalists with justice and decency?

Thanks to the many readers who sent in kind words regarding my piece last week on the Washington Post ombudsman column that shed light on how bigoted some in the media are when it comes to covering those who oppose changing marriage laws to include same-sex couples. That column, which quoted directly from a shockingly [Read More...]


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