The Trashing Of The Christ
Table of Contents:
- Executive Summary
- 1.The DaVinci Code received an enormous publicity push from the broadcast networks.
- 2. The Passion of the Christ was treated as a social problem – the biggest TV anti-Semitism story of that year – while The DaVinci Code was presented more often as an "intriguing" theory rather than threatening or offensive to Christians.
- 3. In their push to promote The DaVinci Code, the networks routinely failed to address the aspect of the book that most offended Christian sensitivities: the claim that Christianity itself is a lie.
- 4. While the faith of millions of Americans, Christianity, is singled out for criticism, with one "fascinating" fictional detail after another, the networks either refused to air or barely aired mild Mohammed cartoons out of great sensitivity to American Muslims.
- 5. While Mel Gibson was attacked and psychoanalyzed for his religious beliefs, DaVinci Code author Dan Brown and filmmakers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer were never personally examined or challenged: about their personal religious beliefs, or their willingness to milk controversy, play fast and loose with facts, and offend Christians with the objective of making millions.
- 6. The networks also bought into the DaVinci Code craze by picking up and publicizing other Code-related books attacking Christianity and the Catholic Church, but their standard of evidence was hardly an example of what a skeptical journalist would apply.
The contrast in network news coverage between The Passion of the Christ and The DaVinci Code sends a crystal-clear message on the network news take on which view of religion they prefer, the orthodox or the unorthodox. The news media are not obligated to genuflect to an orthodox Christian worldview. But they have declared, at least in lip service, a devotion to accuracy and fairness and journalistic skepticism. Coverage of The DaVinci Code displays how those principles are routinely ignored.
Critics of the conservative reaction to The DaVinci Code have suggested that it is hard to declare the book and movie are "out of the mainstream" when it has sold tens of millions of copies. (They will now declare the same argument using the box-office receipts.) But those sales have happened in part because of very aggressive salesmanship on the part of the "mainstream" media, which played up the "intriguing" elements and downplayed the insulting ones. Network television news stars may boast at seminars that they are tough on everyone, "without fear or favor," but in real life, their devotion to secularism is almost religious in its intensity.