Monday, January 24, 2011

Time marcheth on

Two weeks into my entry into blogdom at the Washington Post, and things are going pretty well. Am getting more web page hits from what looks like a more and more diverse group; got a load of comment here today from Seventh-day Adventists over why their worldwide network of 170 hospitals allow abortions while at the same time they present themselves as evangelical Protestants.
I spent today on the Mall during the annual March for Life following some Orthodox bishops around for my Metropolitan Jonah piece. The weather was frigid and I wanted to deck some of the Knights of Columbus guards who were manning the barricades in back of the speaker's platform. They were nasty last year about allowing media into the speakers area (which is where I needed to be to do interviews) and they were just as nasty this year, sending me to a non-existent press tent after barring my way. I finally managed to talk my way through at another gate but covering this march is not for the faint-hearted. Last year, I called and called the phone number I had for the march organizers asking for press credentials. What a joke; there wasn't any such thing and no one even returned my calls. Certain groups could get a lot further with the media if basic courtesies were followed.
Posted here is a video of Dancing Veeka taken with my iPhone as I was showing my dad how it worked.
video

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One week in


So far, so good, in terms of producing blogs for the Post's On Faith forum. I've gotten more than 200 comments so far, most notably on entries about the Arizona shootings and Pope John Paul II getting beatified May 1. Am learning what produces lots of hits and what doesn't. For those of you wanting to bookmark my posts, the best URL I've found so far is: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/. For instance, here is where you'll see my Ted Haggard post. Was up late doing that one.
I also want to thank a number of people who've stood with me for the past seven months; who checked in with me from time to time to see how I was doing and who didn't drop me once I was laid off. Mike McManus, Linda Perry, Harold Johnson, Nancy and Rick Pearcey, David Virtue, Doug LeBlanc, Terry Mattingly, Cal Thomas, Mark Kellner, Kathy Thompson, Jason Method, John Phillips, Tony Carnes, Gail Dall, the Kuhner/Vuoto clan and Chris Currie are some of the folks who stand out. The Pearceys, by the way, are leaving the DC area after more than 20 years to teach in Minneapolis. Their press release is here. I'll miss them.
The photo is of Veeka and me at the National Cathedral the day after Christmas.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My debut as a WPost blogger


I'm very happy to finally announce something I've been sitting on for many weeks; that on Monday (Jan. 10), I began blogging for The Washington Post's On Faith page. Specifically I post daily entries on the "Under God" blog. This is the nice intro with my photo and a short description of my writing career and this was my first blog - on why the newest Narnia movie is doing so badly at the box office.
Every week day I'm supposed to post something that reflects a religion story in the daily news flow or do some additional reporting on a certain topic. This is a very part-time job; hopefully I'll get so many page views that the Powers That Be at the Post want me to work more hours a week. I was gratified that the founder of the On Faith site, Sally Quinn, sought me out in late October to contribute in some way to the blog and that finally it's happening less than three months later.
I also wanted to post a photo of me standing in a local Orthodox cathedral talking with Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America. Yuri Gripas, the photographer I am working with, shot it. I am working on a magazine story about Jonah and it's been so much fun going out on interviews. I was at his church on Thursday, wrapped in clouds of incense set to Slavonic chant, and I dragged Veeka there on Sunday. She really liked all the icons and priests walking about in long, gold brocade robes. She liked it even better than the Smithsonian exhibit I dragged her to a few hours later. This child often talks about how she loves Jesus and church; again I am blessed.
So, seven months after being laid off, I am somewhat back in the saddle; not full-time as I hope to be but at least working in my specialty. This cuts the final tie to The Washington Times which is said to be hiring back a lot of people it laid off. But not me - I am happy to have moved upward and onward.