Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Old Double Standard

Did you happen to notice the type of coverage that was given to The DaVinci Code by the press before it's release? Glowing. Supportive. Enthusiastic. Almost gleeful. Other adjectives could be used here, too. It seemed that reporters and hosts were falling all over themselves to get an interview and bask in the glow of Tom Hanks and Ron Howard (a little less so for Ian McKellan). I would describe the coverage as overwhelmingly positive. Sure, those of us who have problems with the thesis of the book were given snippets of attention here and there, but nothing significant (at least in the mainstream media).

Contrast The DaVinci Code coverage with that of The Passion of the Christ. What type of coverage did Mel Gibson and the movie get? Anything but glowing, supportive, and enthusiastic. In fact, much of it was downright hostile. Gibson himself and the premise of the film (the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus, which included a graphic depiction of His suffering and death on our behalf) were questioned, attacked, and derided. A considerable amount of time was given to detractors and protesters (maybe more). Gibson's mental health was questioned.

The coverage of these two films is so different that it can't be missed. Tim Graham of the Media Research Center has put together a study of it called "The Trashing of the Christ." It's worth a read.


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