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Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Pope, the Numbers Game, and Yellow, (Or At Least Lemon-colored?) Journalism

Yesterday the Pope spoke at the White House. (Oh, you didn't know?)

To understand my point, you should know that I am strongly in favor of what I believe is Pope Francis's agenda on the two items I did a search for. I believe - It is important that we do what we can to slow or reverse climate change. I believe - It is important that we preserve our commitment to religious liberty including religious objections to what are perceived as bad law, and the freedom not to violate ones conscience as formed by ones religion.

In a rather short speech, the "issues" on which the Holy Father touched are, in order, (and none in an in any way pointed,  "in your face" manner,) were:
1) that this country was built by immigrants
2) his "support the institutions of marriage and the family"
3) the need to "build a society which is  tolerant and inclusive"  while "safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities"
4) the need to respect the right to religious liberty, "one of America's most precious possessions"
5) climate change and sustainable developement must be addressed
6) humanity's obligation to meet the needs of all, especially the poor and marginalized, for which God has given us the means.
Yesterday, the day of the remarks Google identified 6,040,000  instances of the two phrases "white house" and "pope francis" in "news" sources.

 Over six million.

Add in the phrase "climate change," and the number drops to 3,110,000, a touch over half.
Three Million.

Instead of "climate change" put the phrase "religious liberty" in the mix and what's the number?


Let me say that again, 83,600 .

No, there are no zeroes missing, eighty three thousand.
Change it to "religious freedom" (same concept, but not the phrase Francis used,) and you have 146,000 links at you disposal, still pitiful compared to "climate change."

You tell me, do you think "the media," (which right-wingers often seem to portray as some sort of monolithic creature, and for which they are roundly mocked, including, sometimes, I admit, by me,) presenting the totality of Pope Francis's message, his teaching, his moral voice, with anything even approaching even-handedness?

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