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shepherd of public opinion

Hey, it’s L. Brent Bozell in the Wall Street Journal. He’s probably trying to restore “decency” to the entertainment industry again, like the time he got all upset about Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, or the time his Right to Censor stable briefly made honest men of former pimp The Goodfather and former pornstar Val Venis. Let’s see what he’s upset about today:

Newsweek greeted the coming of Easter with a black cover, and the headline “The Decline and Fall of Christian America,” spelled out in red in the shape of a cross. Inside, it was more declarative: “The End of Christian America.” Why? Because they found that the percentage of self-identified Christians had fallen 10 points since 1990. Okay, then let’s compare. How much has Newsweek’s circulation fallen since 1990? Just since 2007, their announced circulation has dropped by 52 percent. It would be more plausible to state “The End of Newsweek.”

Oh, snap, L. Brent! I agree that Newsweek is probably going away before “Christian America” is. I’m pretty sure that it’s one of those magazines (like Highlights and Readers Digest) that people only read at doctors offices, and soon when all the doctors offices are run by the government they’ll get rid of expensive perks like “magazines” and “cleanliness” and replace them with more affordable things like pull-number-machines, grime, and free Jehovah’s Witness pamphlets. And then there’ll be no more little “Conventional Wisdom” arrows (or is that Time?) and we’ll all be much the poorer for it. But you know, L. Brent, I’d feel a lot better about your thesis if you were able to speculate about the motives of the people working at Newsweek.

All this leads back to the sneaking suspicion that the top minds at Newsweek think they are the wisest of men, the definers of trends and the shepherds of public opinion. So why is everyone abandoning their advice? Why are the captains of a magazine that’s lost half its circulation telling the rest of us where the mainstream lies?

I get what you’re saying, L. Brent. Only Jesus is the Shepherd of Public Opinion (John 10:11). Only Jesus is the Wisest of Men (1 Cor. 1:24). Only Jesus is the Definer of Trends (Luke 1:69).

And the fact that Newsweek is being read by fewer and fewer people demonstrates that its assessment of Christianity is wrong, just as the Christianity-assessments of General Motors, Circuit City, Bernie Madoff, WaMu, Countrywide, and the RIAA were way off base.

This, L. Brent, is an awesome rule, which I promise to apply to all of my periodical reading in the future.

Why, if Newsweek is against it, then probably Christianity is stronger than ever. Similarly, People magazine is on the decline, which means that probably we should worry about Josh Hartnett’s health. US magazine is also struggling, from which I infer that Jamie Foxx’s remarks about Miley Cyrus were not hurtful. And Weekly World News is in all sorts of trouble, which means that Bat Boy most likely did not get a tax extension.

Speaking of which, how are contributions to your organization going, L. Brent?


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