The Trashing Of The Christ

Contrasts In Media Treatment of The DaVinci Code and The Passion


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.