Holy Smoke!

Part of my morning wake-up routine is to catch the first fifteen minutes of Good Morning America. Today they ran a short piece on how the conclave in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican will insure that they can produce the black and white smoke needed to announce that there's a new pope. As many of you probably know, after each vote by the cardinals, the ballots are burned in a special oven with black smoke meaning no decision and white smoke signifying "we have a pope." They used to burn wet straw to make the smoke black, but the color it produced was sometimes confusing. So they said they're taking steps to get the color just right.

So apparently GMA figured out that the sure fire way [pardon the pun] to get black smoke is to burn styrofoam with the fire. Brilliant. Last time I checked, burning styrofoam produced toxins in the air and, within a confined area [like . . . oh, I don't know, a chapel?], could very easily cause death. With the possibility that they could burn up to four groups of ballots a day for multiple days, we could have a room of dead red birds on our hands. Thanks Good Morning America and ABC News for launching an all out attack on Roman Catholicism. I'm not quite sure this is what they mean in journalism class by media impartiality. Killing of the remaining leadership of a world religion might appear to show bias. I think they just want Peter Jennings to become pope in order to boost their ratings.

I'm sure Dan Rather never would have done this.