I was reading an article by Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek on the inauguration and I ran across this statement.
To borrow an old saw about the mission of journalism, Bush’s words will “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
I have often run across this saying or some form of it as one of the ends for preaching and that this is what a good sermon would entail. I had not realized that this was also used by journalists. Doing some research (meaning Google) it seems that it was first used journalistically by Finley Peter Dunne and later attributed to H.L. Menken. It has also been used by multiple Protestant Theologians throughout the 20th century and possibly before. The reason this saying struck me is that I thought it was odd that it would be claimed by both preachers and journalists. Maybe not that strange though when you consider that many journalists see themselves in a way to be preachers. That they have become the secular clergy who perform written benediction over liberal causes and preach hellfire about conservative ideas. That the stories they write are often closer to sermons then just a recounting of facts is no surprise with this paradigm. That many stories you read coming from sources like Reuters or the AP are written to elicit the response of amen by the faithful reader. Unfortunately papers like the New York and LA Times are just preaching to the choir and only comfort the comfortable and make reading their biased stores an affliction.