It appears that God-beat professionals are finally going to get to see “The Passion of the Christ” — on Monday. This is when run-of-the-mill press screenings are being held across the land.
Let me stress again. The problem with the so-called public relations for this film is not with the treatment of the people who review films. The problem has been with the professionals who cover religion AS NEWS. This has — for months — been one of the biggest religion stories on Planet Earth. Passions have been high, to say the least.
Yet reporters who have wanted to tell both sides of the story have had their hands tied. The film’s critics — including some journalists — have been willing to talk and talk, world without end, amen. Many of their criticisms have been based on material such as an early leaked script that could not be verified. If a reporter wanted to be fair to Gibson and Icon, who was the reporter supposed to quote?