I try not to write about the same hot-button issues everyone else does, but this week I couldn’t help myself. The whole Santa-and-Jesus-are-white thing was … well, I just couldn’t lay off of it. This week’s first featured article “White Santa, White Jesus, White Christmas” should be out shortly. I’ll try to cover the issue a little better than everyone else has.
The second featured article will be “Mandela’s Memorial Service Was All About Us”. American news outlets just couldn’t face a whole day of talking about some dead guy from the other side of the world, so instead they obsessed over the Obama-Castro handshake and a manufactured mini-drama in which the Obamas’ marriage was threatened by the prime minister of Denmark. That story would have been funny in The Onion, but not on the front page of The New York Post.
The rest of the week left the weekly summary a lot to talk about. I was debating how the Sift should mark the anniversary of Sandy Hook when somebody else made the decision for me: Let’s have another school shooting! A novelist couldn’t have written a more appropriate conclusion to a year that started with the country determined to do something about guns, and ended with more laws loosened than tightened.
The other stories of the week: The debate over whether Pope Francis or Edward Snowden should have been Time’s Person of the Year; the House came to a bipartisan budget deal that is not doomed in the Senate (with Republicans saying lots of juicy, nasty things about each other); Oklahoma learned the downside of allowing religious monuments at the state capitol; and NBC News bemoaned an international study that ranked American teens “21th” in science. (If not for the fact that we were also 26th in math, somebody at NBC might have known how ordinal numbers work.)
And we’ll end with a video you may have seen already, in which WestJet made a Christmas miracle for the passengers of one lucky flight.