SPEAKING OF NEWSPAPERS: The news business may have created ‘politically correct’If it’s the season to be jolly, why are some folks wringing their hands? Because they’re gripped by the great “Christmas” debate: Dare they decorate their workplace? Can they even use the word? After all, there’s always the possibility of offending non Christians.
If it’s the season to be jolly, why are some folks wringing their hands? Because they’re gripped by the great “Christmas” debate: Dare they decorate their workplace? Can they even use the word? After all, there’s always the possibility of offending non Christians.
That’s particularly dicey in the school and government sectors, because people learn and work in publicly owned buildings. Any display of religious belief could trigger a long and expensive court challenge, as Duluthians learned regarding the Ten Commandments display that had to be removed from their city hall.
It’s also an issue within the news business. Journalists take pride in mulling complicated issues for hours, days, weeks — even years. Then they still don’t agree.
Nobody at the New York Times, CNN or other Big Guns have called The Daily Telegram in search of input, so we’ve decided to just call Christmas what it is: Christmas. We’ll do the same with the Passover, Ramadan and other religious celebrations that readers tend to celebrate or recognize.
Frankly, though, the two biggest Christian observances are somewhat more difficult to address than some others — at least in this country. Over time, the celebration of Jesus’ birth and death have become clouded by stories of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and associated retail frenzies. Today, few can trace the roots of those characters or correlate them with the event being observed. Nonetheless, they’re indelibly etched in our minds.
So as a newspaper, do we put an image Santa on our Christmas cover, a bunny on Easter, or would that be offensive to conservative readers?
Come join us on the tightrope. Let us know what your think.