Thursday, April 14, 2005

Papal FAQ #1

Responses to some comments heard over the last several days:

Pope John Paul II was buried on Friday, April 8th. It seemed like all that week we were overrun with news on this. Why? Wasn't this overexposure?

I don't think this was a complicated call for the media, here or around the world. There are, give or take, 60 million American Catholics or people who at least call themselves that. There are also a significant number of interested parties who maintain interest in Roman Catholic events for a variety of reasons and many individuals who are simply curious. If the audience exists, it gets the courage.

The media pursue interests, noble or base, of great masses of people. The death and funeral of Pope John Paul sparked the interest of a vast number of people: by Friday's funeral, some 2 billion viewers were expected to look in on some part of the ceremony. So it's not that the coverage was "thrown at us;" the media just followed the crowd. And given the usual programming available, even on the news networks, it was interesting to see the "scandal of the day" steamrollered by Pope John Paul.

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