Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Religion and Media

Imagine an American Idol for grown-ups, where the viewers vote passionately every week to decide who stays on the show—BUT let’s raise the stakes. Instead of pop stars, let’s vote on Congressmen, judges, and--maybe for sweeps--we do the President of the United States. Yeah, and maybe we’ll occasionally vote on the Constitution and freedom, for spice. That could be a fun show, but it’s an awful lot to pack into one hour, and nobody will actually be able to get to know the candidates in that amount of time, so we’ll let the show’s judges screen the contestants. Ready for the kicker? Instead of voting for their favorite contestant, the audience will be pressed to employ the Simon Says approach: reaching a unanimous decision at the encouragement of the show’s producer, Simon. That way everybody casts a winning vote and they can revel in their popular decision each week, whether they tune in or not, as long as they echo Simon’s position before the phone lines are closed. Now I'm thinking that to protect the integrity of the show, if Simon's candidate somehow loses, he should shut down people who support unapproved contestants by boycotting their businesses and sending them straight to hell.

If you’re thinking about stealing my awesome idea, think again. Somebody already beat me to it.

“In 1976, God miraculously revealed long-forgotten, historic details to confirm Pat Robertson's vision from God to come to Virginia and claim a television station for His glory.” (from CBN website)

“We are achieving this (evangelical) end through the strategic use of mass communications, especially television and film, the Internet and New Media, radio; the distribution of cassettes, literature…” (
from CBN Website)

The Columbia Journalism Review’s (CJR) Mariah Blake explores the influence of faith-based media in CJR’s May/June issue

One representative of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) quoted in Blake’s piece explained, “We don’t just tell them what the news is, we tell them what it means, and that’s appealing to people, especially in moments of cultural instability.”

Ideology’s nice and all, but c’mon people! Let’s make some money on this. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which controls the “Fair and Balanced” Fox Network, met with NRB leaders in 2002 to convince them to oppose a proposed Echostar-DirecTV merger. The NRB complied, and after the FCC nixed the deal, Murdoch’s News Corporation bought DirecTV and gave the NRB a channel on it.

Blake’s article delves deep into the relationship between religion and politics, citing several examples that I can only plagiarize. Check it out.


Blogger Mark said...

i am a conservative and i am a christian, but pat robertson, in my opinion is a fake and a con artist. watch his show....every subject he discusses has something to do with money. i think we all know what's really on his mind.

5/06/2005 2:53 PM  
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