Saturday, December 04, 2010

When News Isn't News

Diogenes brought a little smile to my face with this: I suspect he had the New York Times in mind but it could apply to the Times, Guardian, Independant or the BBC.
Act I, Scene I: The newsroom of a major metropolitan daily

Reporter: Hey, boss! We’ve got a story here. Says the Pope might have allowed a priest who was accused of abuse to work in a parish while he was Archbishop of Munich. What should we do with it?

Editor: Did the Pope personally assign the priest to parish work?

Reporter: No; his vicar general did.

Editor: Did the Pope know about it?

Reporter: No evidence of that.

Editor: Did the Pope know this priest at all?

Reporter: No evidence.

Editor: Did this priest abuse other kids while the Pope was there?

Reporter: No evidence of that either.

Editor: What the heck. So we don't have all the details. Still, if the Pope was soft on abuse, that's news. Let’s splash it across the front page anyway.

Act I, Scene II: The same newsroom

Reporter: Hey, boss! Another story about the Pope. Seems that he didn’t laicize a priest from Milwaukee who was accused of abuse.

Editor: Was the Pope responsible for laicizing this priest?

Reporter: No; the local archbishop had the authority to do it.

Editor: Did the Pope stall the disciplinary process?

Reporter: No; the local archdiocese waited 40 years to do anything about it.

Editor: Did this priest abuse other kids after the Pope decided against laicization?

Reporter: No, he was old and sick by then. He died a few months later.

Editor: What the heck. So we don't have all the details. Still, if the Pope was soft on abuse, that's news. Let’s splash it across the front page anyway.

Act I, Scene III: The same newsroom

Reporter: Hey, boss! Here’s a different story on the Pope. Says that he was pushing for tougher disciplinary action against abusive priests.

Editor: Was this recently?

Reporter: No; way back in 1988.

Editor: You mean back when all the other bishops were hiding these abusers, he was trying to get rid of them?

Reporter: That’s what the documents say.

Editor: So he was really leading the charge against abuse all along?

Reporter: Looks that way.

Editor: OK. No big deal. So the Pope wasn't soft on abuse? Who ever said he was? Put it on page 17.


3 comments:

Left-Footer said...

Good news ain't news, eh?

EFpastor emeritus said...

Priceless!. But sadly all too true

georgem said...

Well chosen picture, Father. Roll out the barrel.