Seems that NPR listeners thought they were being too "adulatory" and in any account, were overplaying the story. NPR's ombudsman explains:
Listeners asked a number of pointed, and I thought correct, questions about NPR's coverage:
· At what point does popular sentiment for the Pope outweigh the journalistic obligation to disinterest and skepticism?
· Is NPR prepared to do this for the deaths of other religious leaders? If so, why, and if not, why not?
· Was the coverage based more on the depth of advanced planning rather than the news value of the event?
· Did anyone at NPR consider the needs of the listeners and suggest that the coverage be scaled back?
Good question, that last one.