They weren't "mocking Christians", they might have been mocking Ashcroft, who came across as somewhat straitlaced, or at least they were trying to create an ironic image.
The reporters weren't the only ones who gave Ashcroft a hard time. I recently read the following story: When Ashcroft first started working in the justice department, long before he became attorney general, he had a boss who relentlessly ridiculed his uptight attitude. The boss was Clarence Thomas.
That post is so stupid as to defy belief. Don't you do even the slightest investigation before you make potentially embarrassing comments? Ashcroft was Missouri AG, Governor, and Senator before becoming AG in 2001, after he lost a controversial election to "Dead Man" Carnahan. Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the SCOTUS back in the first Bush administration (1989-1992). Dumb, dumb, dumb.