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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

This Big Guy in the Pointy Hat Said Some Things

And didn't say some other things.
Which do you wanna know about first?

I was reading Amy Welborn's blog, (the new one, which has not quite taken off to become THE Catholic internet "cracker barrel" as its predecessors were, but it will -- yeah, yeah, I know the "Catholic internet town hall" or "square" is more what most are aiming for, but we're more like the old retired coots hangin' out on the porch of the general store, some of whom know what they're talking about, some of whom haven't a clue, but all of whom have something to say, doncha think?) and there was a blog on the all too common phenomenon.

IIRC, she has used that duh title, "News Flash: the Pope/Archbishop/Nuncio/Vatican is Catholic!" before.

And I know the situation well enough to agree, shake my head and "move along, nothin' to see here...." So I almost didn't take the jump - glad I did.

Because chiming in on the thread was the author of the silly piece!
Poor guy.
This time her (completely justified,) criticism wasn't so much the pretense that it is news that actual Catholics adhere to actual Catholic doctrine, as the shoe-horning in of irrelevancies, the must-add talking points.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart does a splendid job of editing into a frenzied montage whatever the 24/7 news outlets have been told are the assigned buzzwords for the day, showing what laughably unoriginal parrots they can be (that is the charitable construction -- the snarky one would be that they are craven lickspittles who repeat what their masters tell them to.)

The "template" for Catholicism that Amy snarks reporters may be docked for not using is more flexible than she gives the NYTimes credit for, though.

For instance, in an article about Nancy Pelosi meeting the Pope a few months back, the gratuitous inclusion was a reference to the Rehabilitation-Of-Holocaust-Denying-Bishop, (we need a good headline nickname for him, like the Octo-Mom has been accorded, doncha think?)
And of course, when they've already used the obvious ones, "journalists" are allowed to use Regensberg, Hitler Youth, and Sex Scandal.

The excuse Amy's commentator used that the Archbishop's appointment/first Mass/homily needed to be put in context for a wider audience than her commentariate [sp?] rings a little false.

For one, the average NYTimes reader knows the Church position on any controversial subject that interests the reader.

And yet MSM writing about the Church, including that in the NYTimes, often seems to be directed at a readership that might be scratching their heads, going, "Catholics? are they the ones with Ayatollahs? oh, wait, the ones that handle snakes! No? no, no, don't tell me... I got it, they're the ones with that gay lady bishop, right? remind me, they don't eat meat and dairy on the same dishes?"

And secondly, I suspect that, say, school and/or parish closings are of more immediate interest to NY Catholics, and are more likely to be acted upon or assurances given that they will not happen, much sooner than the Archbishop of NY city, (however Big and Important a place it is,) will impact on the ESCR or abortion or euthanasia debate, but the reporter did not mention them.

It's just bad writing and bad reporting and he's miffed at being called on it.

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