Reporters wonder if they should have colleagues who understand religion
Maybe it's Bush's use of religious language. Maybe it's the rise of Islam. Maybe it's just a realization that religion matters. Maybe it's the publication of Doug Underwood's book, From Yahweh to Yahoo!: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press. But for whatever reason, several reporters, columnists, and others in the media are noting a lack of diversity in their newsrooms.
The most recent lament comes from New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof. "Claims that the news media form a vast liberal conspiracy strike me as utterly unconvincing, but there's one area where accusations of institutional bias have merit: nearly all of us in the news business are completely out of touch with a group that includes 46 percent of Americans," he writes in today's edition. "That's the proportion who described themselves in a Gallup poll in December as evangelical or born-again Christians."
Kristof's column in itself is evidence that he needs to understand evangelicals better. He clearly sees them as drawn, above all else, by eschatology. "There may be an element of messianic vision in [Bush's] plan to invade Iraq and 'remake' the Middle East," he writes, and makes mention of the Left Behind series and the Book of Revelation.
And, unlike David Brooks in his "Kicking the Secularist Habit" piece for The Atlantic, Kristof is quick to say he's having a faith crisis. "I tend to disagree with evangelicals on almost everything, and I see no problem with aggressively pointing out the dismal consequences of this increasing religious influence," he says. "But liberal critiques sometimes seem not just filled with outrage at evangelical-backed policies, which is fair, but also ...1