Fitz Blog: Easter in the news

2013-03-27T06:00:00Z 2013-03-27T20:31:19Z Fitz Blog: Easter in the newsDavid Fitzsimmons The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Headlines from around the world

     First came this headline on Thursday:

     "Jerusalem welcomes sage, healer with cheering, palms"

      I read it in "The Temple Trumpet". It appeared in the Metro section on the bottom of page 2. Something else caught my eye that day. A CNBC Correspondent was injured covering a riot that began when a radical protestor drove some moneychangers out from Jerusalem's most prestigious temple.

    Earlier that month Dr.Phil had hosted a “Messianic impulse” panel discussion. This week's program would focus on cults.I was interested.

     The Wall Street Journal ran a secondary editorial noting that Wall Street was unmoved by the arguments put forward by a controversial speaker,"known for me being an itinerant troublemaker, a mere carpenter, with no economic training." It was the same character.

     The press crucified the guy. Fox News commentators  criticize the Nazarene as a "bleeding heart blasphemer, a Mediterranean peasant preaching communitarian nonsense.”

      Sean Hannity huffed,"Love thy neighbor, blessed are the poor? Marxist tripe.” 

     Bill O’Reilly agreed with his guest Ann Coulter's assessment: “Godless.”

     C-PAC speakers railed against the Mediterranean peasant's healthcare proposals as," pro-leper, and anti-free market. Ayn rand would be turning over in her grave."

     Amnesty International issued a report charging that Rome had been systematically crucifying Palestinians for decades, "by the thousands."

    The spokesperson held up photographs that were disturbing. She said,"Eyewitnesses tell us the roads in and out of Jerusalem are lined with crosses. This is the worst human rights violation since reports surfaced alleging that King Herod ordered the massacre of the firstborn of Bethlehem. We expect action this time."

     The United Nations Security Council considered an anti-crucifixion resolution that went nowhere when it was clear that China and Russia would veto the measure.

     Thursday evening The Washington Post ran this headline:"White House calls for sanctions against Rome." At a hastily assembled press conference the President refused to aid Judean rebels, saying, "All we can offer is humanitarian aid--in the form of milk and honey."

     Rush Limbaugh ridiculed the Nazarene's “Turn the other cheek” philosophy as appeasement and made headlines when he called it “weak-kneed, limp-wristed and un-American.”

       Late Thursday evening CNN broke the news with this bulletin crawling across the bottom of the screen: Street preacher preaches non-violence during arrest in garden.

     Within minutes the NRA website put up a statement condemning, " The radical pacifist who wants to take away all our swords. Let justice run its course.”

     Members of Congress, wary of criticizing the Judean Sanhedrin court too harshly, ducked the question of an unreasonable application of the death penalty. The House Leader said," We don’t want to upset our friends in Israel.”

    Governor Herod of Judea, interviewed by Pierce Morgan, mocked his critics as “soft on crime" and declared his support for the death penalty,"for all blasphemers and revolutionaries", claiming it has a deterrent effect.

     "The cross will put an end to all of this nonsense. It works."

    On Friday former Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in on the torture question when the Prefect of the Roman Province of Judea, Pontius Pilate, authorized the torture and execution of the convicted carpenter. "Torture works. The interests of the state are at stake here."

     Buzzfeed's headline was " Pontius has conscience? Pilate washes hands of whole affair." Bloggers published accounts of Pilate apologizing on Oprah and resigning his post to spend time with his family. They all proved to be untrue.

     Friday afternoon YouTube videos of a grisly crucifixion outside of Jerusalem surfaced. Experts estimated that the images were seen by millions.

     It was reported by Al Jazeera that, "the pacifist revolutionary, rumored to be a healer, convicted of blasphemy and other crimes, had died at 3 P.M., Jerusalem Standard Time."

     Saturday morning saw the airing of “30 pieces of Silver: Nancy Grace investigates Judas Iscariot’s suicide." Grace suspected foul play and asked Roman officials," Were disciples involved?"

    Other than that the news from the middle east on a Saturday in 33 A.D. was run of the mill.

     Sunday morning CNN noted reports of an “alleged resurrection” of a Nazarene martyr in Palestine. The news went viral. News crews descended on the grave site alleged to have been donated by an Arimethean man named "Joseph". Dr. Sanjay Gupta weighed in with a scientific analysis. Anderson Cooper interviewed Mel Gibson, and assorted eyewitnesses who shared varying and contradictory accounts.

      The Nazarene, if he was alive, as some claimed, was unavailable for comment.

     CBS Sunday morning covered a different angle with this headline:"Palestinian paparazzi miss historic moment."

       Geraldo Rivera devoted his entire program to an investigation into the missing body of the executed blasphemer.  Rivera suspected foul play and asked followers, " Was Rome involved?"

     His followers scoffed at the idea. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John announced they were all going to write about their experiences. A book tour and a motivational speaking tour throughout the region was likely for the four.

      The Nazarene's family disappeared from public life. Congress failed to pass a  “Love your neighbor as you would love yourself” resolution and on Monday night's news broadcast Brian Williams asked,"Now what?"

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About this blog

David Fitzsimmons is the Star's editorial cartoonist.

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