The joking continued Tuesday afternoon when Gallagher shared a variation on her report with Live From host Kyra Phillips. Phillips introduced the segment (screen caption, “Apocalypse Now?”) by noting that some people “figure that at least a couple of those four horsemen of the apocalypse are saddling up, as we speak” and wrapped the segment — joining Gallagher in a giggle — by promising “we’ll be monitoring” the online Rapture Index.


And the “Apocalypse Now?” caption survived to run another day — Wednesday, as Phillips interviewed two “apocalyptic novelists,” Jerry Jenkins, who co-authors the Left Behind series, and Joel Rosenberg, author of The Copper Scrolls. Phillips asked such questions as, “Joel, are we living in the last days? Let’s talk about the specific signs to watch. You have written about them. What does the bible say? Are we there?” and, “Joel, do I need to start taking care of unfinished business and telling people that I love them and I’m sorry for the evil things I’ve done?”


This week may be “All Apocalypse All the Time Week” on CNN, but it is not the first time — as we mentioned earlier — that the network has asked these sorts of questions. Some highlights:


Anderson Cooper, April, 2003: “Do recent events in Iraq foretell Armageddon? Some people actually think so. We’re going to talk to an expert on religion when we return.”


Wolf Blitzer, October 2005: “The religious rumblings began when Hurricane Katrina hit, and they’re growing louder after the earthquake in South Asia … Reverend Falwell … do you agree with the Reverend Pat Robertson that we may be at the end of days right now, that there may be some biblical explanation for what’s going on?” Falwell’s response? “Well, Wolf, most evangelicals that I know have believed for a long time that the coming of the Lord is imminent. But it is very wrong to set dates.”


Or, as Falwell told Harry Smith of CBS’ Early Show four days later in a segment titled, “Is God Mad at Us?”:


“Is it the end of the age? Only a fool would say that the Lord’s coming today. No man knows the day or the hour.”


No man, no woman — and, most of all, no television network.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.