The media bares some responsibility over the Terry Jones and his Koran burning affair. Actually, correction — it bears full responsibility.
How does the leader of a church that gets no more than 50 people at his sermons suddenly have the power to stir anger and protest around the world? In the 24-hour news cycle, almost anyone it seems with a YouTube account and a crazy idea gets to make it on prime-time news.
The international news media should have looked away. This was clearly a publicity stunt aimed at drawing attention to his church. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was right to tell the media not to cover the planned Koran burning.
In the end, it was FOX News and the Associated Press that decided their audiences deserved better than to let a mad man play them for fools. Kudos.
“We do not cover every flag burning that happens in this country. We don’t run every hostage tape… If we tried to cover everyone who wants us to stick a camera in front of them, we’d run out of cameras pretty fast each day. But this is really about just using some judgment.”
— FOX News SVP Michael Clemente in an interview with the Baltimore Sun
This will make a great case study in journalism classes. We’re back to asking the question: What is news?
If there’s anything good that came out of this, it’s the fact that we’re reminded that there are good, sensible people all around the world; people who respect religions and faiths without judgement. Just look at the outpouring of comments online in support of Muslims around the world.
Now that’s a story worth telling.