Reverence and irreverence don’t mix well, especially when the irreverence of Washington Sketch columnist Dana Milbank is directed at participants in National Day of Prayer events. …
Complaints were expected about Milbank’s May 4 column, in which he used his razor wit on the U.S. Capitol Bible Marathon, National Day of Prayer events and an atheists’ demonstration.
To his detractors, Milbank was condescending, intent on ridiculing them and inaccurate in describing the events. To Milbank, National Day of Prayer events are political, not religious, and are owed no special reverence. But readers knew about the events only from Milbank’s spoof; no news or feature story dealt with the seriousness of the participants or what the events meant to them.
Milbank’s columns have attitude and are meant to be provocative. The issue isn’t just whether Milbank is fair; the issue is whether it was fair for The Post to let his column stand as the only coverage of the event. In this instance, it was not.