Reading the God-blog tea leaves

keyboardConsider this a Zen post.

It seems that religion columnist Bill Tammeus of the Kansas City Star recently went to a seminar in the Washington, D.C., area that focused on issues in religion news coverage. While he was there he met religion writer Neela Banerjee of The New York Times and, since then, the two of them, and the 30 or so other journalists who attended, have been trading emails about their work.

Tammeus decided to pass along some of what he learned, which meant using his blog to point his readers toward the work of other bloggers.

It’s always risky when a blogger recommends other bloggers. The fear is that readers will spend so much time at the other sites that they’ll never come back. But I’m not scared. I know you’ll be back to tell me to quit sending you to bum sites or to thank me for lighting up your life with good sites. Right?

Right. That’s how the Web works and, thus, that’s why GetReligion tries to pass along information about other blogs and sites linked to religion news and why, early on, we encouraged our friends at Poynter.org to create an online reference guide on the topic. Anyone who isn’t reading the Christianity Today blog, Pew Forum and the various offerings of the Religion Newswriters Association — especially the ReligionLink materials — isn’t taking advantage of what the Web has to offer. We’re journalists. There is no such thing as too much information, when it is coming from on-the-record, informed sources.

However, I guess it is true — here’s the Zen thing — that you can end up with religion news bloggers writing about the views of other religion news bloggers who are writing about the coverage that major religion writers are doing of major religion news issues that they may or may not have learned about at religion news seminars featuring religion writers who read those religion news blogs. Did that make any sense? Whatever. Like I said, journalists who cover complicated news beats need information and input. Oh do I wish that the Web had existed when I was doing full-time news reporting on this complicated beat.

Thus, Tammeus blogged this information:

The other day Neela mentioned four of what she considers watchdog websites, meaning they tend to keep track of journalism coverage of religion. I thought you might enjoy poking around on the sites … By Neela’s description, the first one, getreligion.org, tends to lean to the right. The others tend to lean to the left. But you can make that — or a different — call yourself.

1. Getreligion.org.

2. Streetprophets.com (an offshoot of dailykos.com).

3. talk2action.org.

4. therevealer.org

So tell me what you learn from them that you wouldn’t have found out otherwise. By the way some of those as well as other blogs can be found on Beliefnet.com’s Blog Heaven.

It’s an interesting list and, by the way, I agree with Banerjee’s labels.

The GetReligion team is very open about the fact that we are traditional, active Christians — at the moment, the lineup is Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Presbyterian Church in America (I think). We try to be open about our beliefs here, both theological and journalistic, and we’ve been calling ourselves a right-of-center blog since we first went online.

We are what we are. We are an advocacy blog for improved religion-news coverage in mainstream media. We aren’t all that interested in opinion journals and denominational wire services, although we link to them from time to time if we think certain articles would be educational or just plain interesting reading for religion-beat professionals. We hope that other journalists feel free to link to GetReligion and to let us know what they think. We are always eager for feedback from working journalists.

Meanwhile, let me end this post by going full circle and pointing you back to the work of Bill Tammeus in Kansas City. Digging around in his stuff, I was struck by this recent column on a topic near and dear to the hearts of longtime GetReligion readers — the often tricky business of trying to pin simple labels on complex religious people.

We do ourselves and others a disservice when we fail to recognize that terms such as “Christian” or “evangelical” or “Islamic” cover a multitude of understandings. Certainly there are core beliefs and doctrines that hold such groups together — or at least try to. But it’s impossible to speak in any accurate way of “Christianity” or simply of “Islam” or “Judaism” as if each of them were not a large tent.

Precisely because we are dealing with divided houses we must specify which Christianity, which Islam, which Judaism.

And all the people said — amen.

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Episcopalians inside the Matrix

51MatrixCode by KeR medVeteran religion scribe Julia Duin of The Washington Times has written one of those stories that simply had to be written, taking readers inside what I once called the Anglican Web Wars.

There was a time when people from the power pews and pulpits went to national meetings and all they could do for news — other than one or two MSM reports a day — was read newsletters and memos handed out by the special-interest groups. Now, the annual Summer of Sex rites in the oldline world have gone online and, as noted in The Washington Post by columnist E.J. Dionne Jr., the rise of the digital printing press is even beginning to affect the free-for-all congregationalism that is life in the Southern Baptist Convention.

But back to Duin’s handy report from the Episcopal General Convention in the industrial sanctary hall in Columbus, Ohio.

There are, of course, the official websites that seem like they have been around forever. There is the official site of the ECUSA hierarchy and then there is the General Convention page within the unofficial site of the church’s ruling progressive elite — that would be the home page of gay activist and ECUSA power broker Dr. Louie Crew, a site hosted on the servers at Rutgers University in Newark.

Then there is the work, on the traditionalist side of the aisle, by Father Kendall Harmon and his TitusOneNine blog, which, on a slow day, offers several dozen links to documents and news articles about what is going on around the world in the bitterly divided Anglican Communion. Click here for the controversial recent post on the ethics of Anglican blogging, written by the Very Rev. Paul Zahl, dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. Meanwhile, legions of Anglicans around the world still read the baseball-bat reports of cyber pioneer David Virtue (who often, I am afraid, insists on circulating many of my wire-service reports days before it is legal to do so).

Here is how Duin set the scene, in a piece that really, really needs to have all of its hyperlinks live and kicking.

Dozens of deputies, at least 11 bishops and a multitude of other hangers-on are using the Internet to slug it out over the same issues that the convention is considering through its conclusion. … Local blogs include Daily Episcopalian (blogofdaniel.com), operated by Diocese of Washington spokesman Jim Naughton, and Baby Blue Online (babybluecafe.blogspot.com), written by Mary Ailes, a vestrywoman at Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax.

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is maintaining centeraisle.net, which, although not a blog, posts daily commentaries, one of which jabs the Rev. Martyn Minns, Truro’s rector, for calling on the Episcopal Church to “repent.”

And on and on it goes — Preludium, In a Godward Direction, Father Jake Stops the World and the perfectly named An Inch at a Time, General Convention 2006 and, of course, the ever-present Web Elves. There are dozens and dozens of others, which you can find by digging around in the side columns of the sites — left and right — listed above.

So, all of you GetReligion readers who are closely following the Summer of Sex, what are your favorite links for the Anglicans, the Presbyterians and everybody else? Please leave them in our comments section.

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Rod Dreher explores Da Nile

NileSunsetI am swamped in meetings all week, so I am running late and missing out on some stories. The Divine Ms. M is on the road, too. So thanks to young master Daniel Pulliam for pulling 666 duties (somebody had to do it). Please hang in there with us.

Meanwhile, Rod “friend of this blog” Dreher has been doing some very GetReligion-y work all week over at his new Crunchy Con blog at Beliefnet. The chain of posts began with this story in The New York Times about the breakup of an alleged terror plot in Toronto. Dreher did some intense paragraph counting and decided that, well, denial isn’t just a river in Eqypt. Here is a sample of Rod’s “See no evil” post from last weekend:

Who were these people? Several paragraphs down, the Times finally gives a hint by saying that they are “mainly of South Asian descent.” Ah, now we’re getting somewhere! Are they Hindu extremists from India? Vietcong.2? Nepalese Maoists?

Surprise! They just might be Muslims, as the reader is left to figure out for himself by clues left in the 21st (!) paragraph, when the Times says the Canadian suspects might have had contact with two men recently arrested in Georgia: “Those two were Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, 19, an American of Bangladeshi descent, and Syed Haris Ahmed, 21, a Pakistani-born American.”

You know, we happen to have been for nearly five years in a vast and bloody conflict with Islamic radicals who openly wish to destroy us in the name of Islam. And here we are, deep into a story about a possible major bomb plot, and the Times cannot bring itself even to mention the religion of suspects arrested by the FBI on terrorism charges, even though their religion would be a vital clue to understanding the story. Is it more important to know that these guys are of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin, or that they are Muslims (something I’m only guessing based on their names; the Times doesn’t tell the reader until the next paragraph, and then only by quoting an FBI official)?

We soldier on till the 25th paragraph, when the names of some of the arrested in Canada are finally listed. Several of them are named Muhammad. Another clue! Then, in paragraph 27, a brother of one of the arrested men defends the suspects as good people, saying, “They go to the mosque.”

By day two, the Times had dug into the mosque angle — since this was, as it turns out, a pivotal element of the story. This is not a surprise, based on patterns in previous events. And, of course, the people at the mosque are not of one mind about what is going on, before or after the arrests. That is to be expected and that is part of the story.

So the Times did report:

Members at a mosque prayer meeting on Sunday said the six fellow worshipers who were arrested included the eldest, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, described by several acquaintances as a school bus driver and an active member of the mosque who frequently led prayers, made fiery speeches and influenced young people who attended the services.

“He spent a lot of time with youth,” said Faheem Bukhari, a director of the Mississauga Muslim Community Center who sometimes attended prayers at the mosque. “He’d take them for soccer or bowling, and talk to them.” Mr. Bukhari said Mr. Jamal never openly embraced violence or talked about Al Qaeda, but was “very vocal and I believe could incite these young kids for jihad.”

The issue, again, is whether the MSM is actually afraid to discuss the religious elements of these terrorism stories and, to be specific, the actual divisions inside Islam about faith and life in the Western world. Rod has continued to write about these issues this week — often producing fierce debates among those commenting at his site. Check it out.

Photo credit: “Nile River Sunset” by Matthew Floreen, BiblePlaces.com.

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This just in: “HolyOffice” speaks

galileotrialI am still thoughtfully tugging on my beard as I follow the latest development in the continuing saga of HolyOffice and his alleged links to GetReligion and, well, me.

HolyOffice has spoken, over at his LiveJournal (or is it Live_Journal?) blog called The Medicine Box. However, in clearing up one mystery, he has created another. So without delay, here is the man himself in a post called “Can I put a ‘pseudo’ in front of my LJ handle?”

Apparently, someone got confused because I had Get Religion linked in my LJ profile box, and thought I was identifying myself as a Get Religion affiliate. I am not now, nor have I ever been, linked to the Get Religion Web site. I just really enjoy and read it a lot, and linked to it because I thought other people might be interested. Sorry for the confusion; the link has been removed.

As for getting credit for my work, I unfortunately have to remain anonymous, as I cover religion for a newspaper, and could get in hot water if the bosses knew I was writing this. If you’re really curious about my identity, though, just picture me looking like Brad Pitt, but more handsome.

Still, this makes me empathize even more than usual with the writer who called himself Dionysus the Areopagite, but has been dubbed by historians Pseudo-Dionysus. He just wanted to use a pen name! Is that such a crime that we have to label him a “pseudo”? Maybe he worked for a newspaper, too.

So what we have here is another side effect of the technological changes in our era, with the online world affecting life inside and outside many newsrooms (and other offices, too).

Some newspapers want reporters to blog and some do not. But what happens when a reporter who is writing hard news on the job suddenly evolves into a fountain of personal opinion online? This blurs the line, obviously, between news writing and editorial writing. When I was at the Rocky Mountain News, I was a reporter who was also a columnist — a combination of duties that existed on other beats, as well. The editor who hired me said he assigned journalists that kind of dual role if he thought they could handle it.

Now, in the age of blogging, all kinds of people are doing hard news reporting in print and opinion writing online. The Religion Newswriters Association offers a small collection of links to blogs by religion-beat reporters and by those who watch them — sites such as GetReligion and The Revealer.

The four writers here at GetReligion fall into two different categories. Doug LeBlanc (semi-retired from blogging at the moment) is a former mainstream religion writer who has worked in various publications and media roles, including advocacy work in the Anglican Communion wars. That’s why he tends to avoid Anglican issues on this blog or, if he does, goes out of his way to note his link to the story. I have, since 1991, been a professor who is also a columnist, working outside a newsroom. Nevertheless, I keep my Scripps Howard New Service editors briefed on what I’m up to in my academic work. As you can see in their bios, Daniel and Mollie are mainstream journalists who, in their newsroom jobs, work on beats that are not related to their GetReligion work. However, both have strong views about religion and about journalism and this blog is a place where they can say what they want to say. Again, however, their editors know what they’re doing.

What happens when a hard-news beat reporter also has a blog on the same topic? You can see that happening across the pond, where religion-beat veteran Ruth Gledhill of The Times — producing a European brand of journalism — writes waves of news stories about the Anglican Communion and then, elsewhere, writes about her own connections to the stories that she is writing. When is she a reporter and when is she a columnist? In the European model of the press, that is not as big of an issue (unless sources on one side of a story ignore you). Yes, editors make the final call.

Meanwhile, HolyOffice says he is a mainstream religion writer (who looks like Brad Pitt) who has an anonymous blog. Personally, I don’t think there is any need for anyone to try to “out” him. It also appears that his blog already has some GetReligion readers. Hurrah. We hope they keep visiting this site and letting us know what they think.

Our goal, from the beginning, has been to produce a blog for journalists who cover the religion beat or who are interested in writing about religion news as part of their other work in journalism. This is an advocacy site for improved religion coverage in the mainstream press, with our primary emphasis being on accurate hard-news reporting. The four of us openly discuss our own beliefs here, for the sake of clarity, but we strive to keep the emphasis on journalism.

We welcome feedback from journalists and people who love journalism. We are anxious to add new information and to make corrections, when we make mistakes.

I will end with this note to HolyOffice: Feel free to restore the GetReligion link to your online profile. We appreciate the support. Thanks for reading, and please keep writing. You are, as Southerners would say, funny as all get out.

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Yo! tmatt is not “HolyOffice”

galileoholyoffTugging thoughfully on my beard, I would like to take a moment of your time to clear up a conspiracy theory floating about linked to GetReligion.

I am not “HolyOffice” and “HolyOffice” is not me.

It seems that Mark Liberman over at the Language Log has decided that I am a much funnier, talented and sarcastic person than I actually am. I am not the author of this post at Live Journal:

The Internet Theologian Explains The Da Vinci Code

As the responses to my helpful guide on Christianity show, when theological controversies arise, many people wisely turn to an anonymous crank with a web log. Or, as I prefer, to a Big-Time Internet Theologian.

Said digital theologian then riffs on strange things in The Da Vinci Code.

It’s pretty funny. I didn’t write it.

However, after doing some snooping, the Language Log scribe broke this news:

This captures the book’s zany dream-logic better than any other reviews that I’ve seen. At this point, though, I need to ’fess up that holyoffice, the author of The Medicine Box blog on Livejournal, is apparently* Terry Mattingly, who also posts on the blog GetReligion (“The press … just doesn’t get religion”). In Real Life, he’s director of the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and author of a weekly column for Scripps Howard. In other words, an old-media infiltrator.

When you’re done with as many of those links as you care to follow, you might want to try the glossary of Christian terminology at the end of the post “The Interpretive Dance Theocrats” (Terry Mattingly as holyoffice on The Medicine Box, 5/12/2006), which begins:

Premillenialism

This is the belief among some Christians that, ever since Jan. 1, 2000, it has no longer been possible, in the words of the Prince song, “to party like it’s 1999.” Postmillenialists are those Christians who believe that it will always be possible to do so, while Amillenialists believe that in this context, “1999″ cannot be understood literally, but must be read as an allegorical term roughly meaning “a time at which it is especially appropriate to party.”

That piece is even funner than the DVC satire. I did not write it, either (although part of we wishes that I had). But here is the strange thing. When you go to the info page for “HolyOffice,” he or she lists GetReligion as her or his own website.

As a rule, don’t you wish that people who write sarcastic things on blogs would use their own names? I mean, why create fictional characters like that? I mean, the device is kind of fun, but not knowing who is who makes it hard to know what is going on.

Which raises another point: Can anyone find a way to leave a comment at Language Log? I mean, this “HolyOffice” person deserves credit for his or her work. Right now, all we have is this:

* I inferred that Terry Mattingly is holyoffice, or perhaps vice versa, from the LiveJournal profile page for holyoffice, which gives The Press doesn’t get religion in the “website” slot. Among the folks who post there, Terry Mattingly seemed like the best fit to “holyoffice”. If I got that wrong (and two readers have written with scholarly objections to the analysis), I apologize to all concerned.

Updated: Check out the comments and you’ll see that Liberman has now corrected his post. That was really fast, which probably means that the two blogs share many readers. Thank you to Cathy Grossman of USA Today and others who sent me Liberman’s email address for my files (even before he visited our comments pages on his own). Thanks all!

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Revealing help-wanted notice

ep 6Our friends on the other side of the religion-and-journalism sanctuary aisle are looking for some additional scribes. Check out this help-wanted notice from the folks at The Revealer media blog (source of the photo). Here is a clip:

Who we’re looking for: journalists at odds with the profession; scholars who can talk to the commoners; bloggers who make sharp-edged media criticism a priority. … You needn’t be an “expert,” but you do need to be seriously curious. You needn’t be religious, but you do need to be interested in religion as a category and expansive in your definition of the term. Specialists, however — writers who want to work a beat, such as TV news, or coverage of the war in Iraq, or the evangelical press — are welcome.

The Revealer tilts left, but unpredictably. We’re looking for writers who are critical of power, which means that we loathe party hacks of all varieties. We want sharp-toothed media critics who will occasionally publish rants and manifestos, but no pundits need apply. We don’t much care about issues of “balance” or “bias”; we want to investigate the function and performance of media narratives of religion. We want to imagine a smarter press. We want to read, see, and hear sharper thinking, deeper history, and thicker description.

Some interesting phrases to mull over in there.

Here at GetReligion, we are very interested in issues in issues of — note the lack of distancing quote marks — balance and bias in MSM religion coverage. Most of all, we are pro accuracy and pro diversity and I believe the folks at The Revealer are with us on those points. My reading of this notice is that, with its emphasis on “media narratives of religion,” we are divided by our clashing beliefs about the viability of that old-fashioned American model of the press, with its commitment to seeking balance and a lack of bias.

Let me take a stab at this. The late, great A.M. Rosenthal used to say that he wanted the New York Times to “keep the news straight,” or to “deliver the news straight down the middle.” I can still say “amen” to that.

I think, as journalists, we all have our biases and blind spots. I sure do. We have worldviews. But I remain convinced that newsrooms staffed with talented, informed and committed journalists representing a wide diversity of intellectual points of view can provide a mix of coverage that will be seen as accurate, balanced and fair by a diverse audience of readers. I think that is part of being a “smarter press.” We can, as professionals, work together to offer a product that is wider than our solo narratives. I believe it is in the financial interest of our industry to do that.

In short, journalists should listen to their critics and try to learn from them. As I have said in conversations with Jeff Sharlett, our friends at Poynter.org and elsewhere, I realize that terms like “accuracy” and “balance” carry the burdens of modernity and pre-modernity and sound old-fashioned, to many.

So be it. I am not ready for niche newspapers in one-newspaper towns.

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Wait, my telephone is ringing

Too Much Mail 01At the papers I’ve worked for, the way to get a correction was to reach either the Ombudsperson or the reporter’s editor. Speaking very pragmatically, the reporter has little reason to take the time to get in a correction over his/her fact error, especially since most publications track the number of corrections each reporter has caused; conversely, an editor is in position of pursuing the point and running the correction if it’s warranted. Don’t bother the writer; contact his/her editor.
Posted by mark at 9:33 pm on May 11, 2006

So, tmatt, how did it go? Did you get any response to your telephone message yet?
Posted by Martha at 5:08 am on May 12, 2006

Just a brief update here from upset Orthodox land. I totally understand that the way to reach a newspaper is through the editorial chain and “readers’ representative” or the desk of the ombudsperson. I’ve done that a few times already, in this case, with the New York Times.

I have ended up in a few answering machines and have received my fair share of automatic computer replies that look something like this:

Thanks for writing. Your message has been received and will be forwarded to the reporter. Because of volume, not all notes will be answered personally. But be assured that we want to hear your thoughts. Please do not respond to this email.

Isn’t that a cheerful phrase? I refer to the magical “Please do not respond to this email.” Kind of makes you want to click “reply,” doesn’t it?

But let me stress something. As Mark said in the comments section, it is really, really wild to think that a reporter at the New York Times has the time to respond to all email about any given story. That, of course, was one of the main points of my original post on this theme (thus, the repeat of the art with this post).

However, the Bill Keller administration has made it clear that the world’s most powerful newsroom is going to make some attempts to listen to its readers, critics and readers who are critics. Digital media are supposed to be interactive and the MSM are struggling to figure out precisely what that means. I can say that the folks here at the GetReligion non-Borg have, several times, heard directly from Times reporters after we have commented on their work. This is good and allows us to make corrections, as well (should that be required).

In this case, I will keep trying to get a correction on this story. I think that the late A.M. Rosenthal would approve of my motives, as I try to help the Times get its facts straight on a major story that it will be covering over and over during the upcoming Summer of Episcopal Sex (the sequel).

I keep requesting this correction, even though I am as skeptical as any of our readers when it comes to evaluating the accuracy of church membership claims. It would be fine with me if journalists, as a rule, used mild forms of sneer language for all such statistics, such as, “The Anglican Communion, which claims to have 77 million members,” etc. Yes, the same would be true of claims by the Eastern Orthodox, the Roman Catholics and, oh, the Southern Baptists.

Nevertheless, the Times made a mistake in this case and it should be corrected. Let’s see how the world of interactive digital journalism works in this case.

So I am about to make another call.

Wait! My telephone is ringing (I am not making this up). It’s the national desk of the New York Times. We just — sitting at our computers on each end of the telephone line — followed the URLs and the Times is sending me a request for more information, in which I explain why I think a correction is needed.

Stay tuned.

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How many Orthodox does it take to get a correction?

picftvcolbert01Here is another one of those situations in which I’ve read something in column A and that connected with something in column B and then that produced questions about some hard-to-define issue over in column C.

Stay with me for a minute.

Did you see Richard Cohen’s “Digital Lynch Mob” column in the Washington Post? In a column on May 4, Cohen wrote that Stephen “Truthiness” Colbert’s routine at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner wasn’t very funny.

Cohen isn’t a big President Bush fan, but he thought the comic was a bit out of line. Before Cohen knew it, he had 3,506 emails lined up in his computer telling him that he was a brain-dead GOP lapdog, and lots of things worse that than. All of this made Cohen worry that the wacko far left in the Democratic Party was going to scream so loud in the months ahead that it might freak out Middle America and save the GOP’s Congressional neck.

But that is not the point of this post. Here is what got my attention, as a journalist and professor who now spends many hours a day in cyberspace. Cohen writes:

What to make of all this? First, it’s not about Colbert. His show has an audience of about 1 million — not exactly “American Idol” numbers. Second, it marks the end of a silly pretense about interactive media: We give you our e-mail addresses and then, in theory, we have this nice chat. Forget about it. Not only is e-mail too often a kind of epistolary spitball, but there’s no way I can even read the 3,506 e-mails now backed up in my queue — seven more since I started writing this column.

But the message in this case truly is the medium.

Now stop right there. I truly believe that the blogosphere has a role to play in helping the MSM learn more about what its customers — they can also be called “citizens” — think about the news and what it all means. I wouldn’t be sitting at a keyboard typing these words into blog software if I didn’t think that. This blog would not exist if I didn’t think it had a small chance to make some difference.

Which brings me back to that Neela Banerjee story in the New York Times about the election to pick a new bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of California. To refresh your memory, this is the report in which she wrote:

The Episcopal Church is a small but rich and powerful member of the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members, the second-largest church body in the world, and is presided over by the archbishop of Canterbury.

Too Much MailYes, ’lil ’ole Orthodox me is still a bit miffed about that.

You see, there are 1 billion or so Roman Catholics in the world, with one pope, and there are 70 million or so Anglicans in the Anglican Communion, which has many patriarchs and bishops and is led — symbolically — by the first-among-equals Archbishop of Canterbury. The problem is that there are 250 million believers in the global communion of Eastern Orthdox Christianity, which has many patriarchs and bishops and is led — symbolically — by the first-among-equals Ecumenical Patriarch in the city once known as Constantinople. Facts are such pesky things.

Now, I am sure that the Times has not received 3,528 emails from Orthodox believers (“How many Orthodox people does it take to change a lightbulb? Lightbulb? What is this lightbulb?”) complaining about this error and requesting a correction in the world’s most important newspaper. However, I did go through the Times process — see this page for Banerjee’s work and contact info — and sent email noting the error. I have heard from several other GetReligion readers who have done the same thing.

So what’s the point? People were screaming at Cohen because they disagreed with his opinions and his beliefs. The blogosphere has allowed lots of people to channel their rage in this manner. And, let’s face it, many if not most of the comments deep inside the GetReligion site are full of people arguing with each other about their religious and political beliefs.

That’s OK, I guess, but that is not the purpose of this blog. Our goal is to seek examples of ways in which journalists “get” the religion angle of stories wrong or “get” it right.

If you choose, you may join me in my mini-crusade to see if the Times will correct this error. However, if you do so, please do so because you think this is a fact that needs to be corrected and journalists are supposed to care about things like that. The blogosphere can provide heat and light. We are more interested in the latter.

P.S. I just left a telephone message at the Times national desk.

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