I just posted the following to CBS' online feedback site:
It a rare day when I get so completely put off by CBS Sunday Morning that I turn it off, but you managed to do that for me today. I've been watching Sunday Morning not quite since it first came on the air 30+ years ago, watched as it did its minor changes here and there, the transition from Kuralt to Osgood, and so on, but I've always at least tried to stick with it.
Not today, and because of two stories: the first about this "new song" which is supposed to be such a wonderful expression of Christian faith, then on top of that, the gentleman who is determined to put up crosses apparently anyplace he can get the land to do so. Yes, I know it's Easter Sunday and I get that your audience is without doubt predominantly Christian. I am here to tell you that it isn't ENTIRELY so.
I am an atheist, and while I have a fair degree of tolerance for the ubiquity of religion around me, that tolerance is tested when stories such as these are layered one on the other, seemingly pandering to your majority audience while ignoring those of us for whom irrational belief is anathema. I was pleased to see CNN do a well-conceived hour-long piece on atheism in the United States a week or so ago, and I wonder that CBS News, with a reporting staff I have long admired, couldn't contribute their own take to a subject which should be of importance not just to atheists, but to those who care to understand how the US is changing with regard to belief or lack thereof. The issue of the "nones," of those without religious affiliation, of agnostics and atheists, is to my mind a current and important topic, worthy of your attention, yet to date, I am not aware of any efforts on behalf of CBS News in this direction.
There's a pretty fair chance I'll be back at 9 AM EDT next Sunday to see what Osgood & Co. have to offer, as I am something of a creature of habit. I do hope that, at some point or other, someone on your staff can see his or her way clear to submit a story which looks in depth at what we as non-believers are about ... because we are a part of your audience, too.
I don't think I protest too much here, either. Sure, Sunday Morning had other stories aside from the two I cited, but having those two in a row felt like "piling-on" to me, to the point where my interest in that episode of the show was lost. That business about the man putting up hundreds if not thousands of crosses was particularly irksome, because I suspect he assumes there is no opposition to his point of view, when we here know very well that there IS.
The shame in all of this is that I really don't expect to hear anything back from CBS about this, though they have my email if they want to use it. I will be far more interested in seeing if they take me up on the concept of doing their own report regarding belief and non-belief in the US. I know they can, and if they decided to, an objective, thoughtful, deeply researched story would likely be the final product.
Question is: will they?