Will GetReligion get this?
It’s a commonplace that the media don’t “get” religion, and that religion reporting often consists mainly of disinformation. There’s a web site called GetReligion dedicated to that proposition, with lots of examples and comments.
Having observed the phenomenon, I decided to follow them on Twitter, and see what interesting stories came up. I then I discovered an interesting thing — they seem to be missing a great deal, and their selection of examples of media distortion is quite, well, selective. They seem, for example, to have missed this, which would seem to be one of the more outstanding examples of the genre: The Church Mouse Blog: Bishop Pete Broadbent suffers Facebook foot-in-mouth syndrome:
Bishop Pete’s comments have now been picked up by pretty much every newspaper in the UK, after having been featured in the Daily Mail in an attack piece, as well as news outlets in the US, Australia and elsewhere. Bishop Pete is in the headlines being accused of an unprovoked attack on Prince William and Kate Middleton, of being rude and of being a hypocrite. Cranmer has called on him to resign.
The bit that caused all the media stir was this:
Never underestimate the capacity of the media to descend into the most fawning deferential nonsense and to rake up trivia and irrelevance until it comes out of their every orifice. I managed to avoid the last disaster in slow motion between Big Ears and the Porcelain Doll, and hope to avoid this one too.
which was rather rude, and caused a storm of protest in the media, but — and here’s the bit that would seem to be GetReligion’s stock-in-trade — Bishop Pete also goes on to note that
It’s the gutter press. You can bet your boots they won’t quote anything I’ve said about their responsibility for persecuting the Royals. It’ll be partial quotes and out of context journalism.
Yes, that would be the same Daily Mail which described the Royal family only last week as “notoriously dysfunctional”. Interesting double standards – but what can you expect from journos?
But I searched the GetReligion site in vain for “Broadbent” and “porcelain doll”.
Perhaps GetReligion doesn’t get the media enough.