Friday Five: Twitter mobs, Covington Catholic controversy, ABC journalist's faith

In the age of outrage, it’s hard to escape social media mobs.

People screaming from behind smartphones and keyboards feed a seemingly endless loop of headlines like this one: “Twitter rips Savannah Guthrie for 'appalling' interview with Nicholas Sandmann on 'Today.'“

Certainly, Guthrie’s interview of the Covington Catholic High School teen at the center of this past weekend’s viral videos is fair game for criticism and debate. But isn’t there a more productive way to do that than succumbing to a clickbaity “Twitter rips” approach?

What would happen if newspapers such as USA Today stopped biting or at least insisted on doing actual interviews and quoting smart sources with strong, nuanced opinions? That used to be called journalism, right?

Speaking of a better way, over at Poynter, Tom Jones makes a fair, sensible case for why “Guthrie did her best and did well.” He notes:

When you’re getting criticized from both sides, there’s a decent chance you did a good job.


Now, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: The villains were clear — or seemed to be — in the original stories Saturday (examples here, here and here). But by Sunday, a much more complicated pictured emerged. And days later, we’re still talking about this.

There’s still time to catch up on all the excellent analysis and commentary on this subject here at GetReligion:

News in an age of rage tweets: Who needs to repent, after the Covington Catholic acid storm?

Catholic school boys Part II: Some media just can't say they're sorry

What do we know? Drum chants 3.0 at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (updated)

Mainstream media have some explaining to do about Black Hebrew Israelites. Also: It's complicated

Jamming another Catholic story into the Covington media mold: Flashback to the gay valedictorian

2. Most popular GetReligion post: In the above list, I skipped GetReligion’s No. 1 most-clicked post on the volatile mess on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

That’s because I knew it was coming here: Julia Duin’s piece on “Lax news: Catholic teens, plus Native elder, plus Hebrew Israelites equals volatile video mess” is a must-read rundown of what happened and how the media storm unfolded.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Deacon Greg Kandra, formerly of CBS News, says he was “was delighted and grateful to read this profile of another journalist whose faith matters.”

Kandra points readers to a profile of Paula Faris, who created a podcast for ABC News called “Journeys of Faith.”

4. Shameless plug: Our friends at The Media Project have put up a “Now Hiring” sign.

They’re looking for a managing editor for a new website that will be called

Check out the ad.

5. Final thought: Yeah, that’s funny.

Happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend!

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