Did you hear about that pastor, the one down in Florida? He's not gonna do it after all.
You didn't hear? He was going to burn a Muslim holy book on the eleventh.
Oh yeah, him. Well, he was getting a lot of negative publicity about it. Not that it makes any difference.
What are you talking about?
Well, think about it. This guy runs a ministry with oh, 50 or so members in it. He's not gonna be able to run with the big dogs – Robertson, Dobson and so on – and wield anything like their kind of economic and political power unless he gets lots more members and lots more money. In order to do that he needs publicity. Lots of it, fast. So he tells the world he's going to do something controversial if not flat-out outrageous which pushes a lot of peoples' buttons.
But the news media are all over it. They wouldn't be all over it if it weren't a legitimate news story.
I've got news for you about the news business. It's just that, a business. It's all about getting people to buy papers or tune in. Think about it. You don't pay out-of-pocket for most radio and TV programs, and the cover price of a newspaper or magazine is a fraction of what it actually costs to publish. They get some or all of their money from advertisers. The more viewers, listeners and readers, the higher their circulation audit figures or broadcast ratings and the more advertising income they'll get. So they'll latch onto any story that they think will get more viewers, readers and listeners.
So you think he's just a calculating attention whore? I thought this guy was some right-wing crazy.
He's crazy like a fox. He knows there are lots of folks out there who think the way he does. This is how he's reaching out to them.
But he's getting hit left and right with bad publicity. If he's trying to promote himself, I'd say it's backfired on him.
I'm not so sure. There's a show-business truism that there's no such thing as bad publicity. Look what he did - he got everyone from General Petraeus to The Vatican to President Obama to weigh in on this matter. Trust me, this guy knew what he was doing. Only time will tell how well he's succeeded, but I'd have to say his church's membership and coffers are probably going to balloon in the months to come.