NEWSWEEK put Christmas on the cover of its December 13th issue, and the reaction among orthodox Christians was widespread and emphatic. Once again a leading member of the legacy media had produced a hit piece on Christian belief, employing many deceits, including the use of false dilemmas, the employment of only scholars with radical views, and the omission of evidence in support of the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus.
The author, Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham, didn't even try very hard to conceal his bias, becoming to religion reporting what Dan Rather has become to political reporting. My favorite line is this gem: "To many minds conditioned by the Enlightenment, shaped by science and all too aware of the Crusades and corruptions of the church, Christmas is a fairy tale." Meacham goes on to immediately declare that "faith and reason need not be constantly at war," but makes it clear that this is possible only when faith surrenders pretty much everything that defines it as orthodoxy. No explanation is ever given as to why the Crusades have any bearing on the legitimacy of Luke's and Matthew's accounts of the Nativity.
Hit pieces like Meacham's targeting Christianity have become commonplace in recent years as magazine editors and book publishers have come to understand the size of the market for stories on faith, but find themselves staffed almost exclusively with skeptics of one degree or another--usually extreme skeptics. So the offensive article/book/documentary appears, sales skyrocket, and a few weeks later some angry letters to the editor follow which are shrugged off as way too little, way too late.
That was then. The blogosphere is now.
Read the entire article on the Weekly Standard website (new window will open).