NewsFlash! The New York Times Discovers Reading Christians
Periodically, one of the MSM bastions publishes a breathless story announcing, often with the furrowed editorial brow of deep concern, something about evangelical Christians that has been common knowledge among those folks for years, sometimes even decades. These stories invariably illustrate how truly out of touch the MSM has become. The latest illustration of this phenomenon is found in this past Sunday's New York Times' story by Rachel Dondio on faith-based publishing.
Dondio finds it "mind-boggling" that evangelical Christian authors like Rick Warren can sell 20 million copies of his "The Purpose-Driven Life," while former President Bill Clinton manages a mere 1.9 million sales of his "My Life." I suspect that many of Dondio's New York readers would find this data anything but mind-boggling, especially considering that Joel Osteen, another of the evangelical figures she quotes, not only sells books like hotcakes but filled Madison Square Garden two nights last month. Presumably, those Garden seats weren't filled by Bible-thumping Baptist primitives bussed in from Tennessee especially for the occasion.
Anyway, nobody should be surprised that millions of people who have known for years about the immense economic, social and political impact of Christian publishing - and Christian music, Christian entertainment, Christian counselling, etc. etc. - would be among the legions of folks abandoning the MSM for new media like Fox News, Talk Radio and the Blogosphere.
Also, having witnessed the several mini-movements since the early 1980s among my MSM brethren to accord the religion beat more attention, articles like Dondio's provide additional evidence that traditional journalists too often are unable to suspend stereotypical thinking about people of faith and thus are incapable of doing the beat justice.
These things said, check out the entire Dondio piece and Joel Rosenberg's biting analysis thereof on his blog here. Communities of faith are uniquely suited to being among those pioneering the new media made possible by the Internet. Sadly, it often appears the MSM is determined to do everything possible to hasten that process along.