How often is the substance of a report informed or clouded or steered by the headlines that precede it?
Today’s Washington Post may be a fine illustration of this question. Take a look at the four headlines written for a single article by Philip Rucker. A reader can get a very different sense of Mitt Romney and the presidential candidate’s response last night to recent comments about his Mormon faith made by an Evangelical Christian pastor of a megachurch in Dallas.
So, a bit of context with a compare and contrast of each headline in its context. The lede for Sunday’s print edition:
“Romney Pushes Aside Mormonism Question”
And on this morning’s home page of WaPo’s website:
More than 80 participants attended the second northern women’s security shura on Monday in Mazar-e Sharif at Camp Marmal in Balk province, Afghanistan to discuss women’s roles in governance transition. (photo: DEU Capt. Jennifer Ruge)
As an imam at a mosque in the Jordanian capital Amman, I have been following the dramatic developments across North Africa and the Middle East with a combination of high hopes and grave concern. The phenomenon of young people organizing peacefully to demand political reform, economic opportunity, and human rights is a source of pride for me; numerous worshippers in my mosque are among them. On the other hand, the mounting lethality of conflict between state and society in so many Arab countries is terrible to behold. So is the tragedy of burgeoning crime, economic struggles, and insecurity in countries such as Egypt that are undergoing dramatic transformations.
Last weekend, as the nation marked the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, our collective media gaze focused on lower Manhattan, where the memorial service and dedication led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg had already provoked controversy. Though the focal point of these events was undoubtedly — and rightfully — on remembering those lost, that controversy was a revealing glimpse of contemporary American religion.
Rep. Michele Bachmann and other Christian Reconstructionists bring a clear spiritual perspective to deficits, budget battles, and taxes says Rev. Sharp. But, he writes, there is another clear spiritual approach that also needs to be heard.
Debra Dean Murphy recalls a New Testament story of Jesus and questions whether we in the U.S. have given appropriate attention to the vulnerable poor.
Giles Fraser comments on Archbishop Rowan Williams' article challenging government officials on issues of social justice and human welfare.
"But of course when is politics not a display of the follies of men?" ~Debra Dean Murphy on Abe Lincoln, recent sex scandals, and our loneliness.
The ShortFormBlog points out the push and pull of Congressional whimsy:
- action A couple weeks ago, Rep. Peter King attracted controversy by launching a Congressional hearing titled “The Radicalization of American Muslims.”
- reaction At the behest of Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, the Senate will be holding a hearing titled “Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims.” source
On the other hand, I have to wonder if the Senate’s gesture can possibly heal some of the pain caused by Rep. King’s efforts and media outreach.
The crescent-topped dome of Masjid An-Nasr peeks through trees of a residential neighborhood in Oklahoma City. (photo: Andrew Shockley/Flickr)
Hailing from Canada, where referendums are few and far between, I’m fascinated by some of the questions on the U.S. ballots. This year I was particularly interested in Oklahoma ballot measure 755 [bold emphasis mine]:
A riveting piece from Religion Dispatches on an Mormon elder's apology over the LDS Church's activism on Prop 8.
Biblical quotes displayed in Washington, DC for the 2006 National Day of Prayer.
(photo: Street Protest TV/Flickr)
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photograph on September 29, 2009.
Front row (l-r): Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, John G. Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas. Back row (l-r): Samuel Alito Jr., Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
On April 9th, Justice Stevens announced his upcoming retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court. The loss of the lone Protestant on the Court, in a country with 51% Protestants, has sparked a vigorous media discussion. Pundits and journalists are asking how, and if, this will impact future Court discussions, and if religion should even be a consideration when selecting Justice Stevens’ replacement.
NYT’s Lens blog posted a fun entry about Senator Patrick Leahy’s personal photography as he operates from a unique vantage point within the hallowed halls and meeting rooms of Washington D.C. As interesting as the many photos of presidents and legislators are, it’s this “conscience picture” — a portrait he took of an El Salvadoran man in a refugee camp in 1987 — that I find most intriguing, most grounding.