'Quran Burning': Is It News Or Not?

Some say the news media have given the story too much attention. But as it comes to a climax on Saturday, what will you do? Follow developments closely or ignore them?

The story of Florida pastor Terry Jones' plan to burn Qurans on Saturday, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has clearly gone global. President Obama has commented (urging Jones to call the whole thing off). Sarah Palin has weighed in (asking Jones to "stand down".) There's outrage in the Muslim world. In Britain, a man accused of radicalizing young Muslims has called for the burning of the American flag in protest.

Intense coverage of the story has inspired comments such as this one from Two-Way reader Stephen McAllister on a post written by J.J. yesterday:

"This guy and his band of half-baked followers are obviously crack-pots. But that's okay. Crack-pots can be crack-pots in their own little world. But the news media and those of us who follow it are encouraging them to be crack-pots and that's what's not okay. (Now, I wish I could stop looking at it, but it's like coming on an accident on the road. As ugly and disgusting as it is, you just can't look away, and the media knows it.)"

When a story like this reaches the saturation point in the media, there are always those who say that news outlets are giving it too much attention and that it's just not "news". There's always the option, of course, of not tuning in or reading about it.

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