Statting While Catholic

As a Catholic statistician, I tend to read any story headlined with “Surveys say Catholics . . .” ready to flinch. Robert Wuthnow and Emma Green have both raised serious questions about how much religion polls can tell us, and how easy they are to misinterpret.Since I work as a data journalist . . . . Continue Reading »

The New York Times's Misanthropy

The mainstream media are misanthropic. Article after column after editorial published in our most prominent news outlets promote the view that human exceptionalism is hubristic and arrogant. If we would just rank ourselves alongside the other animals in the forest, we are told repeatedly, we would . . . . Continue Reading »

Of Magazines and Communities

On March 7, 2015, Randy Boyagoda of Ryerson College, R. R. Reno of First Things, and Raymond de Souza and Peter Stockland of Convivium, discussed the legacy of Richard John Neuhaus and the life of magazines in a panel discussion hosted at St-Jean-Baptiste parish of Dominican University College in Ottawa, Ontario. What follows is a selected transcript of their remarks. Continue Reading »

Gods and Gopniks

Journalism is the art of translating abysmal ignorance into execrable prose. At least, that is its purest and most minimal essence. There are, of course, practitioners of the trade who possess talents of a higher order—the rare ability, say, to produce complex sentences and coherent . . . . Continue Reading »

Bad News

In Bob Dole’s remarkably inept campaign for the presidency, he could nonetheless count on one surefire applause line to rouse even the most dispirited audience: an attack on “the liberal media.” (He made a particular target of the New York Times.) Dole obviously enjoyed sticking it to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Religion’s Bad Press

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. –Alice in Wonderland Are journalists irreligious, and does this affect their coverage of religious news? For some years a number of media critics have been . . . . Continue Reading »