On this week's episode of "Crossroads, the GetReligion podcast, " host Todd Wilken and I discussed the Sacramento Bee's less than sparkling coverage of the man behind the Planned Parenthood videos (who grew up in their back yard, making this truly a local-angle story) and the Los Angeles Times's discovery of a Muslim woman who has become a man. Please click here to tune that in.
Not surprisingly, the key figure in the trans Muslim story lives in San Francisco, which is where I -- as I write this -- have been for the past few days attending a conference of journalism professors known as the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
Today I moderated a panel of scholars who were discussing how journalists used to put scare quotes about "Islamophobia" and how increasingly they are not.
This is, of course, a sign that they believe such a phobia is real and not something dreamed up by Muslim apologists. It also implies that this is not a subject worth debating. That's how "scare quotes" work, after all.
One Muslim professor listening in said that no matter what the story, Muslims -- like Mormons -- are always treated as the "other" -- part of a group that's not quite normal.
My problem with the Los Angeles Times story (which hasn't attracted any comments as of yet) wasn't about fear of Muslims, it more had to do with handling a transgender Muslim with such kid gloves that she/he was spared the normal tough questions a reporter should be asking.
Sound familiar? In other words, this is another example of a topic on which journalists seem to be convinced that there are no longer two points of view worthy of coverage. The result is public relations or, yes, what your GetReligionistas call "Kellerism."
As for the Bee, I haven't seen them try any harder to find out an additional, insightful information about the real David Daleiden. In recent days, the National Review just came out with an interview with him, so this Catholic activist is talking to some people in the the media, at least to some advocacy media.
Try again? I hope the Bee makes a better effort at finding out who this man is. Hint: Ask him why he has personal reasons to feel strongly about crisis pregnancies.