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Brit Hume was certainly full of something on “Fox News Sunday” this week. Hume, a part-time analyst at Fox since stepping down from his daily anchor role, sought to redefine the job of political pundit, apparently, when he stepped boldly up to the task of telling people what religious beliefs they ought to have. He prescribed in particular a remedial, therapeutic dose of Christianity for disgraced golfing champ Tiger Woods, a man whose lubricious private life has been haunting the headlines for weeks.
Noting that Woods has referred to himself as a Buddhist, Hume knocked his fellow “Fox News” panelists for mortified loops when he dissed about half a billion Buddhists on the planet with the remark, “I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith.”
It sounded a little like one of those Verizon vs. AT&T commercials—our brand is better than your brand—except that Hume was comparing two of the world’s great religions, not a couple of greedy communications conglomerates. Further, is it really his job to run around trying to drum up new business? He doesn’t really have the authority, does he, unless one believes that every Christian by mandate must proselytize?
Oh, but there was much more to it. Since Buddhism is so lacking in news-you-can-use, Hume continued—sinking into his own mouth-made mire—“My message to Tiger would be: Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.” Whom did he sound more like—Mary Poppins on the joys of a tidy room, or Ron Popeil on the glories of some amazing potato peeler?
(Speaking of Ron Popeil, if you only read one article by Malcolm Gladwell in your life, please make it this profile of Mr. Showtime Rotisserie himself.)
Hume’s comment reminds me a bit of what Carrie Prejean had to say about Perez Hilton. Then again, I think he’s right. Too bad you can’t say that on television, not even Fox News. I bet George Carlin never would have guessed that.
The rest of Shale’s column is here.