Lame pope coverage at Slate

Slate's JPII lineup is less than ideal. First we get two articles that ran in 2003 -- one moderately interesting explanation of how the voting will go for the next pope and a piece by Beliefnet's Steve Waldman that makes a lot of jokes without really handicapping the race for the next pope. Then we have a short, bloodless exchange between the "Catholic Right vs. the Catholic Left on John Paul II's Legacy." The partners in dialogue are Michael McGough and Deal Hudson. And -- yes -- Hudson does use much of his space to flak for Republicans. Christopher Hitchens weighs in with his usual drunken bombast, but this denunciation doesn't even rise to the level of his attempt to pour cold water on Ronald Reagan. Rounding out the coverage is a summary of today's newspapers and a piece by television critic Dana Stevens, who complains that network coverage is turning the pope's "death agony into a peepshow," which is "accompanied by blow by blow by perky newscasters." Better, please.

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