Bonfire of the Insanities

Can I add just a few more paragraphs to Terry Jones’ 15 minutes of fame?

The media, collectively, sure is taking some heat for giving international attention and importance to a nobody Gainesville pastor and his on-again, off-again bonfire of the insanities.

Seriously. This is a preacher whose congregation is smaller than a week-night audience for a B-list movie.

But what if the press ignored him, instead of putting him in the glare of scrutiny? And what if Terry Jones got to quietly foment a plan to burn hundreds of copies of the Qur’an, and whip up fear and hate against a religion of our neighbors. What if we didn’t check the pulse of the community, and nobody wanted to be the first to speak up?

And then…

What if that book-burning and hate and discrimination eventually turned Nazi-like or KKK-like?

For news-doers and journalists, it’s sometimes hard to tell up front whether a story or a person we’re covering is history-in-the-making worthy of documenting and examining, or whether it’s just a YouTube-worthy nutcase.

The fact is, the media had to cover Terry Jones. And now we can stop. Please.

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2 Responses

  1. He was a necessary “joke” for the rest of the world thinking of making fun of anyone’s sacred beliefs. Others will consider carefully becoming “famous” like him 🙂

  2. Firstly, we must accept the reality that the majority of news organizations are reporting the news to produce a product and not an objective news service. They are private corporations whose primary goal is PROFIT, not objective reporting. Therefore, any story that will attract attention and stir the masses will be reported, however sensationalistic it may be or whatever danger it may create. A perfect example would be the statement by David Petraeus concerning this matter. He himself found out about this story through the news media, just like the thousands of Afghan citizens did. He felt the planned burning of the Koran would pose a danger to American troops. Had this story NOT been reported in Afghanistan, it would not have been any danger or have caused the deaths of two Afghan citizens who were killed in the ensuing protests. Finally, one major point has been left out of the media discourse about this story. The first amendment of the US Constitution expressly PERMITS this sort of protest, despite how tasteless and ignorant it may be. Nobody, including the media, has the right to abridge this preacher’s right to free expression. Personally, I am against the burning of ANY books because it harkens back to Nazi Germany when thousands of books were burned in bonfires attended by thousands of followers. But I firmly believe in the US Constitution and it’s a powerful tool of freedom, so long as we all stand for it and live by it.

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