Mark Stricherz

Your weekend think piece: Former GetReligionista discusses anti-Catholic story up in Seattle

Your weekend think piece: Former GetReligionista discusses anti-Catholic story up in Seattle

This is one of those stories that could have shown up with a "Got news?" notice in a GetReligion headline. It's rather amazing that this Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog item -- it's hard to tell if it was given serious news treatment -- did not receive more attention from the national press.

It's a classic example of a "mirror image" story. Try to imagine the coverage if a liberal Catholic or a traditional Muslim had been the target of this kind of ad. 

Here's the top of the PI report:

A website erected by local Democratic activists mocked the Catholic faith of Republican state Senate candidate Mark Miloscia, showing a cartoon of Miloscia waring a bishop’s mitre and holding a rosary and claiming that Miloscia represents “the Vatican.”
Democratic opponent Shari Song asked that the posting be taken down. It was, but has been replaced by an equally crude posting entitled “Pope Francis vs. Mark Miloscia,” which appears to argue that Miloscia is opposing the pope by being pro-life and upholding church teaching on same-sex marriage.

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Getting Appalachians

Not so long ago, in the days when the country’s financial system was not falling down a cliff, Barack Obama was said to have a problem with white Appalachians. He couldn’t connect with them; he didn’t speak their language; he had denigrated them. Why?

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Grasping Demons

Another controversial preacher is making news. His name is Thomas Muthee, a Kenyan pastor who has preached at Gov. Sarah Palin’s former Assembly of God church in Wasilla, AK and claims to have cast out demons. Both Newsweek‘s On Faith blog and The Christian Science Monitor ran stories about Muthee, and the two were entirely different in subject matter if not quality.

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Misrepresenting Christians and torture

Last month, Catholic writer and blogger Eve Tushnet urged us to write more about coverage of the religious debate over the Bush administration’s policies regarding torture. For weeks, I looked in vain for the press’ treatment of the issue, which has fallen into eclipse. But then evangelicals inaugurated an annual conference about torture and the neo-conservative publication The Weekly Standard wrote about it. Now I had something to write about.

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Going to the dogs, revisited

About three months ago, Stephanie Strom of The New York Times broke the news that hotel heiress Leona Helmsley had given $5 billion to $8 billion in her bequest to her dog Trouble. As I wrote, the otherwise fascinating story failed to account for the origins of Helmsley’s misanthropy.

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What faith of his fathers?

In his new cover story for The Atlantic Monthly, writer Jeffrey Goldberg portrays John McCain as a believer in the military in general and the right use of military power specifically. My summary of Goldberg’s article is lengthy, so please bear with me.

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Getting Catholic voters, mostly

For months, I criticized the print press for not covering the Democratic presidential candidates’ outreach to religious Democrats in general and Catholic Democrats specifically. I didn’t get it. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had religious outreach directors. Yet until the Pennsylvania primary in April, reporters avoided writing about their efforts.

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Getting great quotes (updated)

When I was a cub reporter lo many years ago, I was advised to get great quotes. Getting the full context of the story was important; ensuring that the story was accurate and fair was important; but nothing was quite as important as getting great quotes. Great quotes, and only great quotes, made the Story.

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