Oklahoma City bombing

Friday Five: Billy Graham, Billy Graham, Billy Graham, Billy Graham and more Billy Graham

Friday Five: Billy Graham, Billy Graham, Billy Graham, Billy Graham and more Billy Graham

Most weeks, "Friday Five" jumps all over the place in the world of religion.

This week, the biggest story (the only story?) is Wednesday's death of the Rev. Billy Graham at age 99.

By my count, this is GetReligion's sixth post on the subject. Spoiler alert: It won't be the last.

Let's dive right in:

1. Religion story of the week: I won't even attempt to name a best story out of all the countless pieces that have been written on Graham's death and legacy. Honestly, I've had a chance to read only a fraction of what's been written so far.

But — as an Oklahoma resident for much of the past three decades and someone who covered the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing — I was touched by our own Terry Mattingly's tribute to Graham.

Tmatt's special column focuses on Graham's role and importance after the April 19, 1995, bombing, which resulted in the deaths of 168 people — including 19 children. In his sermon, Graham was acting as "America's pastor" and as an evangelist, at the same time, with President Bill Clinton in the front row.

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After media horde swamps grieving Sutherland Springs, one journalist suggests: 'We can do better'

After media horde swamps grieving Sutherland Springs, one journalist suggests: 'We can do better'

Coverage of Sunday's mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, sparked a must-read opinion piece by Dallas Morning News journalist Lauren McGaughy.

"Dear Sutherland Springs, you deserve an apology from the news media" is the headline atop McGaughy's viral column.

I want to highlight McGaughy's powerful words as we dive into GetReligion weekend think-piece territory a little early.

But first, a bit of personal background: My first experience with the national news media descending on a community struck by tragedy came more than two decades ago when the unfathomable happened in Oklahoma City.

On the morning of April 19, 1995, I had just stepped off The Oklahoman’s eighth-floor newsroom elevator when we heard a giant boom and saw billowing black smoke in the distance. I was one of the reporters dispatched to the scene.

In all, 168 people died in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building — the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil until 9/11 six years later.

When I arrived downtown, I parked with no problem. Hours later, I found my car surrounded by news vans and television satellite trucks. This was the biggest news story in the world — and would be for weeks.

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