No doubt about it, news professionals do love images of nuns who look like nuns. How many news stories have you seen, in recent years, about tensions between the Vatican and liberal religious orders for women (those who lean toward pant suits and similar business attire) that have been illustrated with photos of old-school nuns wearing traditional habits?
Journalists also like stories about nuns doing things that would shock the public, or at the very least might shock traditional Catholics. Remember this recent example?
This brings me to that recent Newsweek story that ran under this headline (all upper-case letters in the original):
CALIFORNIA NUNS SEEK PROTECTION FOR THEIR CANNABIS BUSINESS
The top of the story offered this information:
Two Northern California habit-wearing nuns, the self-proclaimed “Sisters of the Valley,” say their cannabis business is under threat now that the Merced City Council is considering a full ban on all marijuana cultivation in the city. Should the measure pass next week, Sister Kate and Sister Darcy may need to eliminate the small crop of pot plants they have growing in their garage.
The pair produces salves, tonics and tinctures from the plants they sell on Etsy for pain management.
That produced this epic headline on a response post at Aleteia.org by Deacon Greg Kandra, a former CBS News writer with 26 years of news experience, two Emmys and two Peabody Awards to his credit.
Newsweek, Go Home. You’re Drunk. Those Aren’t Nuns.
Now the key here are two words slipped into the Newsweek lede -- "self-proclaimed." I