However, as the old saying goes, the leaders of the mainstream news media (ditto for Hollywood) are much more effective when it comes to telling the American population, as a whole, what subjects to think ABOUT.
Some trends and events jump straight into the headlines, while others do not. Most reporters immediately grasp the political implications of events, facts, history and trends, for example. The religious implications? Uh, not so much. That’s the message your GetReligionistas have been trumpeting for almost a decade.
Thus, we tend to feel a surge of encouragement when major news organizations write about an important topic and include the religious element of the story, especially when it makes it into the lede.
Take, for example, that Los Angeles Times story the other day about a shocking massacre that may or may not have taken place in North Korea. Here’s the top of the report:
North Korea staged gruesome public executions of 80 people this month, some for offenses as minor as watching South Korean entertainment videos or being found in possession of a Bible, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday.
The daily JoongAng Ilbo attributed the mass executions to a single, unidentified source, but at least one other news agency, run by North Korean defectors, reported hearing rumors of the killings in seven cities across the reclusive country.
Authorities in Wonsan, a port on North Korea’s eastern coast that is being transformed into a resort in hopes of attracting foreign investment to the impoverished country, gathered more than 10,000 residents in a stadium and forced them to watch the firing-squad executions, the newspaper reported. The condemned were lashed to poles, hooded, then sprayed with machine-gun fire, JoongAng Ilbo quoted its source, who reportedly is familiar with North Korean internal affairs and recently returned from the country.
“I heard from the residents that they watched in terror as the corpses were so riddled by machine-gun fire that they were hard to identify afterwards,” the source was quoted as saying.
There is nothing new, of course, about North Korea being the subject of a report about the persecution of Christians and/or other religious minorities.