Tuesday, December 26, 2006

News 2 Starting Its Own "Christmas Tradition": Bible Devotionals as News

Originally published at Free Tennessee:

The parting shot in this season's local media Christmas Wars--in which the season of peace and good will is turned into a cultural battlefield--was WKRN Reporter Jamey Tucker's "new tradition" of music, coaching, and cartoon celebrities reading from the Christian New Testament during a December 24 evening news broadcast.  The News 2 anchors introduced Tucker's story by calling it a special Christmas message "for all."
Despite the idea that journalists should be balanced on public airwaves, Tucker has not had Charlie Daniels or the Veggie Tales reading from other sacred scriptures during the holy seasons of other religions.  For example, Tucker did not file a story of celebrities reading from the Qu'ran during the Islamic observance of Ramadan earlier in the fall, in spite of the facts that Nashville has the largest Kurdish population in the country (among other observants of Islam) and that Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qu'ran during Ramadan.
Lastly, it is wonderously ironic that News 2 can run Tucker's virtual Sunday School devotional (in his words, "what Christmas is all about") on the heels of predominating stories of holiday commercialism and retail sales rates.  Claiming that Christmas means one thing to all people--let alone all Christians--is intellectually dishonest and journalistically biased.  What works in the fantasy world of Charlie Brown and Snoopy (a beagle who shoots invisible bullets at imaginary flying barons from atop his dog house, after all) does not always sync with the actual lives that we live or with the ways that news should be reported.

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