James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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First thoughts on Notre Dame

Posted by James McPherson on April 15, 2019

The fact that we don’t know what caused the ongoing disaster at the Notre Dame Cathedral isn’t keeping conspiracy loons from blaming Muslims, Jews, or others. And of course Donald Trump couldn’t wait to offer a stupid tweet.

But hey, if we’re going to entertain conspiracy theories, do we know if Steve Bannon has an alibi?

I’m sad to say I’ve never had the opportunity to visit Notre Dame, and what I knew about it before today came as much from variations of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” as from anything else. In fact, I actually did a guest sermon about Quasimodo for my church a few years ago on Quasimodo Sunday (the Sunday after Easter).

Notre Dame has been through a lot in its history, including bombing and decapitations of statues by ignoramuses who couldn’t tell the difference between French kings and Biblical kings. It will undoubtedly be rebuilt, though of course some its treasures will be lost forever.

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