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When the Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf dismissed evangelical Christians as âlargely poor, uneducated, and easy to command,â ombudsman Joann Byrd reported: âHundreds of callers offered proof that they donât fit the description. One man said there was a Jaguar parked in his driveway; people revealed their incomes in detail normally reserved for a Form 1040. A woman ran through the degrees of the six people living under her roof: two PhDs and another on the way, three masterâs degrees. A Florida man said that in his âmultimillion-dollar business, none of my employees commands me.ââ
Byrd wrote âThe simplistic Journalism 101 answer: Go back through a story and challenge every sentence for its factual basis.â
If the Post quickly apologized for Weisskopfâs snide âeasy to commandâ verbiage, why does this long-standing journalistic disresepect for religion continue? Is it a âfactâ that Republicans want to install theocracy and repeal the First Amendment? Is it a âfactâ that abortion providers or gay people are killed by a âclimateâ inspired by the Bible? Reporters have a nasty tendency to uncork attacks on religion that are short on documentation and long on editorializing.