I agree with author (and my former writing instructor) Lesley Hazleton, who says in her post Burning Jesus, that Florida pastor Terry Jones deserves to be completely ignored. However, I’m not sure the mainstream media could or even should ignore this story. To be sure, the media publish all manner of trivial and nonsensical stories, and ignore any number of worthy ones, but we ought to be careful about asking the media to ignore (or cover) stories we dislike (or like). That’s a very slippery slope.
More importantly, we need to think of “the media” more broadly. Anyone with a cellphone and a computer can be a journalist today. As this Christian Science Monitor article notes, once one person publishes a YouTube video or a blog entry, the event enters the flow of content on the Web. We saw the positive side of this democratized media in the coverage last year of election protests in Iran, and again a few years ago in Burma.
As I wrote back then, we’re all Zapruders now.
In the end, perhaps all the (undeserved) media coverage, and the ensuing worldwide condemnation, may help convince this hate-filled “pastor” to cancel his outrageous Quran burning plan.