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Fox News Loves Miracles? Or Is It Just A Case Of Lazy Writers?

Reported by Priscilla - January 16, 2009 -

I understand the use of the word “miracle” as a noun and “miraculous” as an adjective. It has become a figure of speech that no more indicates the “faith” of the speaker than the supernatural basis for the situation being discussed. There are songs using “miracles” – Barry White’s “I believe in miracles, you sexy thing” comes to mind. The words are used, quite commonly, to describe an outcome (for people and things) that, against all odds, is unexpectedly good. I get it. I get that religious people do believe in miracles. I get that using "miracle" creates an attention getting media headline. I get that yesterday’s survival of 155 people, in what could have been a fatal disaster, could be termed “miraculous.” But certainly there are other means of describing an amazing, extraordinary survival story which was the result of a very competent and heroic airline pilot - “miracle” being just one of them. But not so for Fox News which, for two solid hours this morning on Fox&Friends, used, almost exclusively, chyrons with the following phrases: “Miracle landing,” “Plane makes miracle landing,” “ Miracle on the Hudson,” “Hudson river miraculous landing.” On today’s Fox News webpage, the pilot is described as a “Miracle Man.” (while the more reality based San Franciso Chronicle has “Bay Area Pilot Hailed As A Hero.”) One of the featured videos is “Miracle On the Hudson, Survivor Story.” But back to the repetitive and unoriginal Fox&Friends chyron. Is it just lazy writers or Fox News being America’s Christian newsroom? I report, you decide.

***Update - CNN, as are all the other networks, is carrying the NTSB press briefing. The chyron referred to "Miracle" landing - note use of quotes. MSNBC, on their website, has an article, "Probe of Hudson "miracle" to begin" - more quotation marks. And, interestingly, the Fox News website has "Investigation begins into cause of "miracle" crash". It will be interesting to see if the Fox TV shows will start putting quotes around "miracle" on the chyrons.

Update***As of 7:22 EST, the Fox "On the Record" webpage has "Miracle on the Hudson" - which suggests that the aforementioned phrase is part of the pop culture. I guess it's like "Miracle on 42nd Street."

Update (1-17)*****On last night's Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points" he said that "religious people will call this a miracle, secular people will call it an amazing coincidence. I'm in the first category and I'm just happy that somebody, up there, is looking out for us." Bill is a "religious" guy - yeah, right.