A story with a bit of everything: McClatchy does Muslims, news, modesty and Playboy

A story with a bit of everything: McClatchy does Muslims, news, modesty and Playboy

Well, she sure is one of the lovelier news anchors I’ve seen, hijab or no hijab.

That would be Noor Tagouri, and I must have been living on Pluto for the past few years not to have heard of this resourceful 22-year-old.

Four years ago, she decided she wanted to be the first hijab-wearing TV anchor in America. Somehow she managed to get into ABC-TV’s studio and have someone snap a photo of herself smiling at the anchor’s desk. That photo attracted thousands of subscribers to her Facebook page within a few weeks and still others clicked on her #LetNoorShine hashtag on Twitter. She was off and running. 

She’s hardly the typical 20-something, hijab or not. That is, how many of us graduate from the University of Maryland at age 20, get invited to give a TED talk at the age of 21, then appear in Playboy at the age of 22?

Yes, you read that right -- Playboy. As this McClatchy News Service story tells it: 

WASHINGTON -- It doesn’t matter that she’s fully covered, wearing a shiny headscarf and leather jacket. It doesn’t matter that she speaks passionately about media distortions of minority communities. And it doesn’t matter that she’s collaborated on a fashion line whose proceeds help to fight human trafficking.
Noor Tagouri is a Muslim woman pictured in Playboy, and that’s enough for some conservative Muslims to lose their minds.

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Let's face it: White evangelical voters are totally schizophrenic, and here's why

Let's face it: White evangelical voters are totally schizophrenic, and here's why

Time for a quiz.

Let's assess the state of white evangelical voters, circa 2016.

Such voters are (pick one):

A. "Feeling under siege." 

B. "Going through an identity crisis."

C. "Concerned about Islamic terrorists."

D. Who really knows? Can this election please be over already?

E. All of the above.

As the Republican presidential contest moves down South, major news organizations are attempting — with varying levels of success — to go inside the minds of conservative Christian voters.

In a piece that drew banner attention last week on the Drudge Report, McClatchy's Washington bureau proclaims that Christian conservatives are "pivotal in the South" and "feeling under siege." (Just last week, Muslims were the ones "under siege." Hmmmm ...)

To prove its point, McClatchy takes readers to a laundromat next door to a Piggly Wiggly:

ROBERTA, Ga. — Inside the Sunshine Coin Laundry near the Piggly Wiggly supermarket, Lagretta Ellington removed her family’s clothes from one of the large dryers and began to neatly fold them on a nearby table.
The air was moist and smelled of detergent. The floor was concrete. Her views of the presidential race were anything but. She was unsettled, and distrustful. The candidates just seemed like entertainers.
“I’m going to pray on it,” the 48-year-old Ellington said. “Hopefully, God will lead me in the right direction.”

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McClatchy story on DC Bible museum gets some very creative editing by the Seattle Times

McClatchy story on DC Bible museum gets some very creative editing by the Seattle Times

It started on a Saturday afternoon when I was gazing at a print version of the Sunday Seattle Times. It was actually the “bulldog” edition, so-called because it comes out the day before. Before in the days before the Internet, this was the term used to describe the earliest edition of the Sunday paper that was sent to remote locations statewide so that theoretically, at least, everyone in the circulation area had some version of that big edition to look at.

I noticed this headline: “D.C.’s Bible museum will celebrate Christian Scripture.”

Now, last time I looked, the much maligned museum was planning to cover the Old Testament, aka the Hebrew Bible, as well as the New Testament. My colleagues Jim Davis and Bobby Ross covered the Washington Post’s article on this. So what’s this “Christian Scriptures” bit? Why not “Jewish Scriptures”?

What I turned up was one of the weirder instances I’ve run across of creative editing by wire desks. First, there was the original story filed Dec. 24 by a writer for McClatchy News Service:

WASHINGTON -- The National Mall may be the nation’s front lawn, but even at holiday time the museums that line it are only lightly decorated with Christmas trees and lights and not with any religious displays.
But a new privately-owned museum is going up just a few blocks away –- the Museum of the Bible –- that only wants to celebrate Scripture. The $400 million project two blocks south of the National Air and Space Museum doesn’t have to worry about laws or rulings that keep religion and state separate.
The museum is the brainchild of Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, the privately-owned Oklahoma City crafts chain that follows its owners’ evangelical beliefs, including closing its 600 stores on Sundays.

Now, that’s not what was in the Seattle Times.

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So why, pray tell, are the Democrats in so much trouble in the Bible Belt?

So why, pray tell, are the Democrats in so much trouble in the Bible Belt?

Several years ago, I attended a forum here in Beltway territory about religion and politics, featuring a presentation by one of the official voices of the Democratic Party establishment -- E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post op-ed page. This was about the time that he released his book "Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right."

During the question-and-answer session, I identified myself as someone who grew up as a moderate or conservative Democrat in Texas, back when that was the dominant political worldview in that state. In other words, this was before the whole red zip codes vs. blue zip codes phenomenon was identified, also famously symbolized by the "Jesusland vs. The United States of Canada" cartoon.

I asked Dionne if Gov. Mike Huckabee was nothing more than an "ordinary pre-Roe v. Wade populist Southern Democrat." This would explain, for example, why a secular libertarian like Rush Limbaugh detests Huckabee so much. 

Dionne thought about it for a second and replied that it would be very hard to argue against that thesis.

This brings me a piece that ran recently on the McClatchy wire -- "Democrats are all but extinct in the South." This news story was, timed, I am sure, to be relevant after the long-awaited fall of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, the last Democratic senator in the old South (or as many journalists prefer to say, the old Confederacy).

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