Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Cracked-Out Piece of Sh*t

The facts: as many of you may have heard, Pastor Zachary Tims—the pastor of an 8,000+ member church in Florida—was found dead in a hotel Friday afternoon by housekeeping. However, the kicker is that he was found with a “white substance” enclosed in an envelope in his pocket. Police don’t think foul play is involved, and an autopsy is in the workings.

Problems I have with this story: one) The particular piece I read, which was a headlining story on the Wall Street Journal (you can read the story here) portrayed
the pastor as a cracked out piece of shit. I quote: “Tims grew up as a drug addict in Maryland when he was ‘miraculously saved’ according to his website and a memoir published in 2006.” I understand how this has relevance to the credibility of the story, but I honestly feel it could have been phrased better. Had this been a different minister (such as Billy Graham perhaps), the news story would have been prepared quite different.

Two) This article is just another reflection of how society forgives, but never forgets. The headline for this story isn’t simply for informing the members, and non-members, of the pastor’s death, but is done for shock value. It reads, “Pastor Zachary Tims Had Drugs When He Died in New York City Times Square Hotel.” A pastor dying in a hotel is enough, but because of his less-than-squeaky-clean past, the drugs had to be mentioned for people to read the article? I highly doubt it.

Three) I understand news sources must remain impartial, but certain parts of the story were irrelevant; they were just added to further point to drugs as the reason why the pastor died (i.e. a drug overdose). His divorce to his wife, his affair (“with a stripper,” the story so colorfully added), even the fact that one of his children had cerebral palsy. Really, WSJ? It was clear this story was front page news to you guys because it was another Black man, who just so happened to have a positive effect on his community, who fell victim to the drug epidemic.

Some tragedy isn’t newsworthy damnit. It’s tragic; leave it at that.

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