CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer raised an important journalistic lesson this week while he was live on the air, about making assumptions during sensitive interviews.
We've no doubt he'll be happy to elaborate once he's successfully pried his foot out of his mouth.
During an interview on Tuesday with Rebecca Vitsmun, a survivor of the Oklahoma tornado, Blitzer asked her if she thanked the lord for sparing her, her husband and her infant son.
The answer was awkward, though not entirely unpredictable.
"I'm actually an atheist," Vitsmun responded and then laughed awkwardly.
Young journalists take heed, this the unfortunate result of ignoring those lessons about making assumptions during interviews.
[ Related: UN told atheists face discrimination around globe ]
The exchange has prompted responses on social media and from news organizations, including a piece by Slate calling for journalists to drop the religion from their coverage of natural disasters.
The message from many has been similar: No more talk of miracles, please.
Thank god the woman had the courage to say she's atheist. - There Is Nothing Miraculous About a Tornado, Wolf Blitzer slate.com/articles/healt…
— Patti(@PatOBeirne) May 23, 2013
I wonder if that atheist interviewed by Wolf Blitzer knows that she's a Twitter hero?
— Ozark Atheist (@OzarkAtheist) May 22, 2013
One fundraiser for Oklahoma relief has already started to sell T-Shirts that quote the woman's response.