You may have heard of hit pieces, which is journalism aimed at taking a person down. Here is a hit obituary -- The New York Times’ article on the passing of evangelical superstar Tim LaHaye.
Check out the headline: "Tim LaHaye dies at 90; fundamentalist leader’s grisly novels sold millions." That gives you an idea of where this article is headed.
Now tmatt has, through the years, written time and time again urging journalists to heed the advice of the Associated Press Stylebook and to avoid most uses of that particular f-word, along with Mollie Hemingway and others in the GetReligion pantheon.
Now, it is certainly true that LaHaye went to Bob Jones University, a campus that has long embraced the "fundamentalist" label, but he also led a Southern Baptist church and most members of America’s largest non-Catholic Christian denomination would never call themselves fundamentalists. Also, his audience as a writer and speaker was much larger than the "fundamentalist" niche.
Guess the Times didn't get that memo. Here’s how the piece starts:
The Rev. Tim LaHaye, a leader of the Christian fundamentalist movement and co-author of the best-selling “Left Behind” series of apocalyptic novels prophesying mass slaughters and the end of the world, died on Monday in a San Diego area hospital. He was 90.
His death, days after he had a stroke, was announced on the website for his Tim LaHaye Ministries.
In an age of seemingly endless natural and man-made disasters, the action-packed tales by Dr. LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins struck readers as all too realistic, even if they were based on biblical accounts of the Second Coming, the appearance of an Antichrist and multitudes leaving a calamitous dying world for heaven.