I’ll get right to the point. I’m writing this because I’m certain that lies are being told, the truth is being abused and slander is being practiced in the name of journalism and honest expression of opinion. Now, that ought to annoy folks. It certainly annoys me.
It annoys me because, color me clueless, I’ve always expected that we were entitled to the truth, especially when folks were asking us for a buck to listen to them tell us it. I speak here of newspapers and other news outlets. I don’t like being cheated. More than that I don’t like sloppiness in folks who say they do the best job of anyone in the business they are in, whatever that business may be. It makes me think of politicians, and I always get upset when I think of politicians; not as upset as when I think of the devil, but close.
The other day a friend wrote me that he sometimes grew weary of my being an apologist for “the clerical sub-culture”, (his term.) Well, an apologist is as an apologist does, whatever that means. Suffice it to say that I reject his thesis. I will label myself an apologist for the truth, especially when I am witness to its being murdered in the public square, while folks who know better stop by to watch, making comments on how well the murdering is done, how cute the murderer(s) may look and how very appropriate that truth should get its comeuppance.
There are abroad many people who want to believe nothing good can come from Rome. They are among those who still fulminate about the Inquisition, Galileo and the forty billion witches set alight in the Dark Ages. Now these folk see before them this gentle savage from Bavaria who plays the piano and loves cats. Well, we know who loves cats, don’t we? And now, it would seem, the goods have been got on him. These people are fools, and fools are more to be pitied than scorned, prayed for than cudgeled…or coddled. Well, except when they know that what they say are lies, or for their own reasons don’t want to find out that what they are about to say may not be the truth.
For an instance, I give you an opinion column in the Los Angeles Times by a person named Tim Rutten. He is the paper’s entertainment correspondent. Despite that, he writes in a recent column about current affairs; specifically he writes about Pope Benedict XVI and problems swirling around him and the Catholic Church.
Displaying more than normal ignorance for a newspaper reporter, Mr. Rutten falls on his face in his first paragraph as he tries to undress the Pope and stab him before the throngs he hopes will stop and gape. He writes: “This has been a tough Lent for the Roman Catholic Church. Its seemingly endless sexual abuse scandal finally has seeped into the papal apartments, and the Vatican’s response to this week’s revelations suggests that far too little has been learned from this squalid affair.”
Now this is a finely constructed paragraph, showing that Rutten has learned something from Journalism 101 as taught by Professor Inkstain: “Open Big! Have no regard for truth!” And the truth he gently puts aside in favor of slander is that the Roman Catholic Church, far from learning little, has become a source of information and training for organizations which deal with children all over the world. As a volunteer and part time employee in my parish, I myself underwent a training program and back ground check. So did everyone else. This has been news for several years, now. More to the point, instead of learning “far too little” the Church has submitted itself to outside audits, and in a restrained fashion tried over the years to point out that what is being said in public is not the truth. As far as the Pope is concerned, he has not even spoken directly about the current flare up. He has been silent.
But why concern oneself with truth; especially when the image conjured by “things seeping into the papal apartments” is simply too delicious to ignore?
I would be remiss if I confined myself to the left coast, the daffier side of the country. The absolute center of daffiness, outside the editorial suite of the New York Times, whose recent front page headlines indicting the Church and the Pope for doing something they did not do have been the cause of this latest round of squealing in the pigsty of professional journalism, is of course the capitol of these Untied States. From there a woman writes a column which appears with depressing regularity in the very same New York Times. I speak of Maureen Dowd, who, nose down in the mud, has turned up this bit of slobber, this unappetizing, indigestible cob for public consumption. It’s obvious she paid attention in Headline Writing, but she failed in fact checking, logic and keeping on the topic. Upset by what she’s read in the papers about the Church and the Pope (just as I am) she decides to throw the whole mess against the wall in the hope that something may stick.
Among her dimwitted theses in the piece, if one may call them that, is that once women become priests, and married men too, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well in the Church. As she says of the current crop of all male bishops: “They should spend as much time guarding the kids already under their care as they do championing the rights of those who aren’t yet born.” I suspect she meant to write “championing the non-existent rights” in that sentence, because, truth to tell, there are no such things these days as rights for those who “aren’t yet born”, unless you count being turned out into a petrie dish for your constituent cells as a right.
Stupid male bishops! Don’t you sometimes wish it was the other way around with them, and they all followed Ms. Dowd’s advice? Then Planned Parenthood could go public and we’d have drive through abortuaries in every mall. Then we could all have our own supply of stem cells in the fridge, just in case we need a new liver or something.
Anyway as with Rutten so with Dowd there is no mention of any of the many reforms put into place since this whole sordid mess first became known, nor of the very good work being done to make sure it is not repeated.
Regarding the truth of the matter in the current stir-up in the pigsty of modern journalistic practice, take a few moments to read this and wonder whether it is simply stupidity, pelosian ignorance or pure malice which rides the back of these “journalists” and feeds their hunger for destruction of the truth. You may also wish to consult someone whose understanding of the strategy and tactics of our enemy compasses a wider view than mine. Her analysis is here.
Remember the man who stood silent before liars and pray for the Holy Father and truth.