Check this out. Pay particular attention to the 8 minute and 15 minute marks.
Just what precisely makes Salt + Light think that it has any more credibility than an average blogger? The expensive cameras? The TV studio? The budget? I get a kick out of the establishment media trying to analyze the blogosphere, and then telegraph how readers should be more discerning about bloggers’ claims. Of course, for them, they don’t have to play by the same rules as we do because, you know, they have this aura of “officiality” about them, so anything they say kind of goes….It’s not like big media stars have not fallen in recent years, is it?
It is to laugh.
The reality, however, is something quite different. The messy truth of the matter is that the Consensus Catholic Lapdog Press has a lot going AGAINST THEM even before they say a single word….
#1 – Their reporters are stringently muzzled on what they can and can’t say. They follow their superiors’ orders on what stories to cover and what stories they should cover-up.
#2 – Their reporters are financially beholden to the sexual orientation of their organization’s financiers because they’re on the payroll.
#3 – Their reporters are subject to the bizarre imbalances of their CEO priest who has a penchant for wild rantings against the pro-life movement, suspicions about the traditional liturgy, and a more-than-mild paranoia with basement bloggers.
What these fellows in suits just don’t get is that credibility is earned by reporting the facts, holding firm to the Faith once delivered to the Saints, being transparent during controversies, and being tenacious about cover-ups. And, above all, having a love for the truth. The fact that the Catholic media is in crisis right now is largely because they don’t do these things.
At the 8 minute mark of their segment on Catholic blogs, Salt + Light producer, Kris Dmytrenko, claims that traditional publications like The Catholic Register offer a more balanced view of Catholic opinion because they have such a diverse cacauphony of voices, whereas Catholic blogs which may have only 1 or 2 bloggers can lead to a “ghettoization” because of an obstensibly narrower world view.
This argument, of course, is completely vacuous.
First of all, when one launches one’s Internet Browser, one is effectively opening the “cyber newspaper”. One can visit this blog or that blog, get the facts, and read about millions of opinions on any host of controversies, Catholic or otherwise. A few clicks of your mouse gets you to an opposing opinion on any particular controversy. There is no such thing, obviously, as a physical boundary that the conventional, newsprint diocesan paper has.
Secondly, Mr. Dmytrenko’s argument is even internally inconsistent. If one does not like Fr. Ron Rolheiser’s columns in The Catholic Register, for instance, one ignores them. How then is the goal of “diversity” maintained — even in the traditional paper media? Well, it isn’t, really. You can’t force someone to read a columnist whose opinions and perspectives that readers find annoying and incorrect.
In fact, the blogosphere actually lifts us out of the ghettoization that the consensus media have enslaved us in for a hundred years when their editors and publishers controlled the medium and therefore the message. The Catholic consensus media, for example, have traditionally invited “diverse opinions” into their publications and media empires in order to effectively water down Catholic identity. What has happened to Caritas Internationalis has to happen to the Catholic media: they need to be seriously reformed.
Consider, dear reader, the issue of the Development & Peace abortion scandal. To this day, The Catholic Register’s Michael Swan, for instance, is still beating D&P’s drum while the Register’s editors do nothing to stop his cheerleading for a dead horse, thereby continuing to confuse the Catholic population regarding D&P’s support for abortion pimps. Is this the kind of “diversity” that Mr. Dmytrenko has in mind? In the case of Salt + Light’s own pathetic coverage of this scandal, for instance, where was the transparency in reporting this controversy – to get at the truth of what was going on? No where. And that leads us to ask why there wasn’t transparent reporting about such an important controversy in the Church, and why Salt + Light acted as little more than a mouthpiece for Development & Peace and the CCCB. The obvious answer, of course, is that it didn’t fit with Fr. Rosica’s view of “social justice” or the Church. Therefore, if Mr. Dmytrenko wants to lecture Catholic bloggers about “ghettoization”, he should look no further than his very own personal KoolAid participation in Salt + Light’s “reporting” of this controversy. Have you no modicum of shame, Mr. Dmytrenko, in having the audacity to lecture Catholic bloggers on “ghettoization” when your own conduct in this affair was near scandalous? I ask you plainly, sir, are you for real?
Incidentally, this explains why Salt + Light has very little credibility among the pro-life community in Canada. Now there’s a survey of a subject that we would all like to see! And speaking of surveys, we’re still waiting for evidence of that non-existent study that Fr. Rosica used as shameless propaganda to buttress his false claims in one of his recent Mad-As-Hell tours. Has anyone seen it yet? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Catholic journalism is in crisis, just like every other major organ and area of the Church right now, and I think this commentary about sums it up:
Maryknoll Fr William Grimm, the editor of the Japanese Catholic weekly Katorikku Shimbun, sounds a call for “real journalism” in the church (tip to NewsHub)…Why does it matter if the Church does not have a media voice like that which should prevail in the secular world? One reason is that if the Church is incapable or unwilling to report on its life and activities with transparency, others will step in. However, leaving honest reporting of the Church to outside media leaves us open to misunderstanding and even sensationalism. It is hard to refute charges of “cover-up” when, in fact, Catholic journalism either consciously or inadvertently fails to present a full picture of the Church, “warts and all.” We need a trustworthy professional Catholic journalism in order to present the true face of the Church to the world and each other. Being trustworthy means having a commitment to the truth rather than to looking good. If Church media are seen as PR rather than journalism, others will not believe us when we actually have good news — as well as the Good News — to convey, nor will they look to us for information and insight…” (Source)
So the bottom line here, folks, is this: the fact that one works “in the industry”, wears a suit, collects a paycheck from “the man”, and talks into a camera doesn’t mean too much. One might as well be working for the CBC with those “qualifications”. For me and most fair-minded readers, those “qualifications” alone have as much credibility as a Jack Layton denial in a “massage parlour”.
You’re only good, primarily, as the evidence you produce, and secondarily, as your own word and reputation carry you. Everything else, dear readers, is smoke and mirrors.
For the Catholic bloggers were teaching them as ones having power, and not as their consensus media were wont to do. ~ Matt:7:29