BETWEEN OBJECTIVITY AND MORAL VISION:
CATHOLICS AND EVANGELICALS IN
White House reporter Wes Pippert had just written an op-ed piece for the New York Times criticizing his colleagues for ignoring what he called the “moral dimension of the news.” The piece reflected Pippert's religious convictions as an evangelical Christian, calling for a more ethically engaged approach to daily journalism. The day the article was to appear, a huge snowstorm hit Washington, D.C., making the delivery of the Times impossible. At the time, Pippert thought “How lucky!” He was glad that his colleagues in the Washington press corps would not be able to read the article. “I knew this was coming out and I was embarrassed,” he recalled, adding, “I didn't want my colleagues to see it, because I just don't wear my heart on my sleeve.” That morning, Pippert and a host of White House correspondents flew with President Jimmy Carter to Atlanta on Air Force One. To Pippert's dismay, there was a stack of New York Times papers on the tarmac waiting for the presidential entourage. His colleagues would be able to read his op-ed piece after all. “It seemed to me that the first thing they did is to turn to that page and start shaking their heads,” Pippert said, recalling his anxiety. Yet, as it turned out, the “reaction was uniformly positive.”
This story illustrates some of the basic tensions experienced by religious people in the modern professions. On the one hand, Pippert's op-ed piece for the Times reflected a personal desire to relate his religious con
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Publication information: Book title: Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media:Explorations in Media, Religion, and Culture. Contributors: Stewart M. Hoover - Editor, Lynn Schofield Clark - Editor. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 165.
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