Bonfire of the Insanities
September 12, 2010

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.