Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mainstream Media: Is It Reporting or Creating News?

We live in a large country with a diverse population. We naturally have people who disagree about various issues, and our nation was founded with a guarantee of the right to express your thoughts in words. Our courts have either clarified that right or possibly extended it by saying that certain actions are protected "speech" as well. Flag burning would be in that protected category, for example.

Now we see news of a pastor in Florida who wants to have an "event" on September 11. He announced he would be burning a copy of the Koran. This man leads a congregation of perhaps 50 people at most. He is not, to my knowledge, famous in any of the conventional ways. I don't see books by him at my local Barnes & Noble or on, I don't see a Sunday morning TV show with him preaching, etc. But he has been made famous in this country because of this Koran burning event. [He has announced just recently that he would cancel the event.]

It seems to me that various entities with something gain from it have played this up more than it deserves. Not that such an intention is not an awful thing; it is worthy of criticism. But this should not be an international event. A couple years ago there were incidents overseas of burning of Muslims using rocker-propelled grenades to break into a church, after which they desecrated the church, tore Bibles apart, etc. Was our press filled with stories of this? Had you even heard about it?

Does this pastor in Florida have a "free speech" right to burn a book, even one that is holy? Yes, apparently he does based on what our Supreme Court has ruled in various decisions. But having a right to do something does not mean you should do it. Does the press have a right to make an international issue of this pastor? Yes, they do. But that doesn't mean they should. Would the press report someone burning a Bible to the extent that it became an international story?...

Read more below:

1 comment:

LexAequitas said...

Completely agreed.

His burning the Koran is kind of stupid but minor. It should be a non-event mediawise.

The "Ground Zero" mosque should also be a non-event.

Ignoring both would have been the better course of action.