I'm not sure GetReligion has ever highlighted a gap in religious coverage before. But I think I've find just the occasion. And my blind hope is that the reasoning behind this omission was a collective decision to ignore the problem -- in this case, Jon Gosselin, the former co-star of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" and a fallen hero for American evangelicals -- and pray he will just go away. Jon's been making lots of noise during the past month as he lashes back at Kate. He's also been dating a Jewish girl and, according to an interview with ParentDish, he likes it!
PD: That sounds fun. Tell me more about your interest in Judaism.
JG: I just went through Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur and learned about the new year and every Friday is the Shabbat dinner. I love challah bread. I'm learning about Jewish food, going to Zabar's. I love that place. I'm learning about kosher and when not to order a bacon, egg and cheese and make an ass of myself. Hailey makes fun of me. My mom came to the city on Yom Kippur and asked where all the traffic was. I got from the West Side to Midtown in five minutes. She wants to come to the city every year on Yom Kippur.
PD: Are we going to see you converting to Judaism?
JG: I talked to Rabbi Shmuley a couple of times. He has nine kids. I was really nervous dating a Jewish girl. She's like the best girl ever. All my friends are like 'I'm so jealous' and I'm like, 'Stay away, she's mine.' She's the rock of my life. She's been through hell in the tabloids. They made up lies that she's a lesbian and she's doing drugs. We've both been through all this turmoil. And we just keep on loving each other.
PD: That's so sweet.
JG: Yeah, I'm not used to that. It's totally different than it was with Kate.
For a moment, excuse the comedic value of these questions. Or the fact that the interviewer refers to Jon's girlfriend Hailey Glassman as a "family friend." (I'm not sure I would even know where to start.) I've never held ParentDish -- ParentWhat? -- up to be The New York Times of the parenting journalism world. The questions are curious, maybe even a bit reality starstruck. But, I mean, this wasn't Deborah Solomon doing the interview.
Jon's responses on the other hand ... Far as I can tell, Judaism is all about having lots of kids (go Jon!), eating Jewy food (go me!) and not doing drugs or gay things (go Hailey!).
This ParentDish interview has popped up on a few blogs -- Huffington Post, Beliefnet's Idol Chatter and, heavens forbid, even The God Blog ("Oy. We need him like we need Michael Richards.") -- but, to my knowledge, Jon's Jewish comments have yet to appear on the website of a major newspaper.
Why is that worth celebrating? Well, just think back to two of the stories I bemoaned a few weeks after joining this team. Both involved Judaism and poorly informed reporting. One concerned Britney Spears, the other Madonna.
Yes, Justice Stewart, I think this does qualify as obscenity.
Now, we could argue the newsworthiness of celebrity religious experiences. What's more difficult to debate is the depth and detail of religion reporting involved in stories by the verbal paparazzi. That's apparent on it's face. And it typically needs at least a nose job.
PHOTO: Jon and Hailey grocery shopping. Hope it's kosher.