Sunday, July 12, 2015

Media and the Fiery Pope

The Pope is going to Paraguay today, and of course everyone is paying close attention to the things he says. He is scheduled to come to the United States in September, so we should expect this attention to recur quickly.

For the media, this has meant inordinate attention to fire-related imagery. Just Google "Pope fiery." You can barely read anything without getting that, or perhaps incendiary, explosive, flame-throwing, or the like. Andrew Chesnut suggested "Papal napalm," which I like.

This is the same kind of imagery commonly used to characterize speeches by people like Nicolás Maduro, Rafael Correa, and Evo Morales. It suggests condemnatory, loud, but also somewhat threatening. The New York Times is already making the comparison explicit (with a fiery headline to boot!). By the time he gets to the United States, I would expect a fire-related word and "populism" in just about every article. Conservative denunciation will follow.

Meanwhile, a good drinking game is to read the news and take a drink each time you read about the Pope's words are related to fire. You'll be under the table before you know it.


Alfredo 6:42 PM  

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