ABC censors religious speech of high-flying Wallenda

ABC news is being accused of intentionally omitting pious words from the mouth of high-wire walker Nik Wallenda, who managed to walk suspended above Niagara Falls on June 15. During his stunt, Wallenda was on a microphone to provide audio for ABC’s live program special "Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls." Wallenda is now the first person to walk across Niagara Falls on high wire. As he walked precariously above the raging falls, he frequently mentioned God and Jesus. For example, he stated “Praise You, Father God! Praise You Jesus!"

An  ABC News live blog written up by Ali Gazan, however, made no mention or acknowledgement of the high-flying Wallenda’s invocations of the All Mighty. Gazan's blog posted updates starting at 9:00 PM EST on June 15 with a countdown before the tightrope master began his journey. The blog ended at around 11:00 PM. During the posts, journalist Gazan wrote updates on what was taking place and quoted Wallenda and others. One of his updates did say that Wallenda’s family was praying for Nik.
Comments left on the blog showed noted disappointment with the omission of Wallenda’s religious statements. For example, a commenter identified as ‘Country Girl’ wrote, "How come this blog leaves out the part about him praising Jesus? All the details are complete, except this is noticeably left out. Are you that uncomfortable typing the name of Christ?"


Speaking at a press conference, Wallenda said "Faith plays a huge role in what I do. I believe that God has opened many doors for me in my life and this is one of them," who added "Praise God here I am in one piece." Wallenda spoke of his purpose for taking the risky walk across the Falls. "To inspire people around the world that again the impossible is not so impossible if you set your mind to it and reach for your goals."
 



Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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