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Is a story like this ever all right?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sprtswrtr10, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. sprtswrtr10

    sprtswrtr10 Member


    It's a long feature on Landry Jones, Oklahoma quarterback.
    Twice while reading it, I scrolled back to the top to make sure it wasn't a Christian publication.
    I have three thoughts about it.

    1) Even if this is Jones' story, the writer can't write it this way. The writer can't be preaching, too. I don't think I've ever read anything like it. Dan Kukla may be a terrific sports editor and sports writer, but with this story, he's not being a journalist first, but spreading the gospel first. Clearly, I'm very bothered by this. This is just one passage: "Jones began learning about God all over again. This time, however, he didn't just memorize Bible stories that he could later pass off as fairy tales. Now Jones learned about God's character, who He is and what He does for you." I read that and think, Well, if I ever need to have God's character explained to me, I can now know to turn to Landry Jones. I'm glad he's got that all figured out; Or this one: "But Jones' performance on or off the gridiron will never change how he is viewed in either of his homes by either of his fathers." Are you freaking kidding me? On this one, I'm glad Kukla's got it all figured out.

    2) Does Jones not know it isn't all about him. Even the post-saved Jones is making it all about him. Here's a quote from Jones: "We aren't called to have a religion we are called to have a relationship. It's not OK just to go to church on Sundays." When he wasn't playing, it was so cataclysmic he wanted to die. Now that is is playing, he's going to lecture anybody on how to live their Christianity? I wonder if he'd tell Muslims and Jews how they should worship, too. Maybe it would be, "It's not OK just to go to synagogue on Saturday."

    3) Maybe I only think two things because that seems to cover it. By the way, I have had some dealings with Landry Jones. He's clearly come a long way as a quarterback. How far he's come as a person will never be for me to judge, even as his story — and I guess if you can toss out all of Kukla's preaching, we do get a seemingly good telling of Jones' story — will always be relevant. And, though I already knew Jones' wore his faith on his sleeve, I now know more of his story. But never, EVER, will I approve or disapprove of his story, the way Kukla so clearly approves of it and wishes to trumpet it via his sports section. For me, that's not journalism.
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

  3. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    "It doesn't matter whether you're selling Jesus or Buddha or civil rights or 'How to Make Money in Real Estate With No Money Down.' That doesn't make you a human being; it makes you a marketing rep. If you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are - just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it's not a conversation anymore; it's a pitch. And you're not a human being; you're a marketing rep." - Phil, The Big Kahuna
  4. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    I've gone to church pretty much my entire life, and both Landry and the writer are full of church talk, cliches I've heard hundreds of times from preachers and Sunday school teachers. It's like they don't really have an original thought, but they've heard those phrases used from their teachers and preachers and continue to spout them.

    Having said that, good grief. That article was way too long for the subject matter being covered. In the Baptist Standard? Fine. In a general publication? No way.
  5. Johnny Chase

    Johnny Chase Member

    Once the writer started getting into the religious stuff I just stopped reading.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The whole story is just one giant cliche. If I had turned that in, my desk would have sent it back to me.
  7. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    If this were a religious publication, it's fine.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm in the minority here, but I don't see a problem with it. I'm assuming this is a columnist or at least a writer who is given latitude to express a point of view. This is his point of view. I'm not particularly a fan, but there is nothing inherently wrong or offensive about it. And there is no responsibility in a private business to the separation of church and state.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The story is fine if you get paid by the cliche.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It's not wrong or offensive, it's just bad writing.
  12. The story has tilted me further toward atheism.
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