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Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Catholic Spirit and the 8th Commandment

I would caution the professional Journalists of the Catholic Spirit--they are held to a higher standard than bloggers. So what is their point? And why are they painting with such a broad brush?

Take my previous post as an example; because we as bloggers can be so quick to editorialize, yes, we have responsibility, but our ability to respond holds these professional writers to a much higher standard. Get the facts right, or face the consequences. We deal with it in com boxes...editors have the right to shred their responses, but they can't shred blog posts. So instead, they attempt to discredit all sources.

I'm sorry. Is the above accusation against the 8th Commandment...or a legitimate defense of the reactions of coherent bloggers with valid opinions?

The Catholic Spirit is not known to be the most...uh...FAITHFUL...newspaper out there. And quite honestly, I've never found a newspaper I truly trust, for each writer puts his or her own spin on the subject at hand. Can we then accuse each and every journalist out there, no matter their intentions, of detraction, calumny, and every other sin under the 8th Commandment, as the Spirit does against bloggers?

The notorious issue professional journalists face is the fact that they know a little bit about many subjects...and as such, it's very easy for them to determine that they know all there is to know. I have heard this from professional journalists themselves in that this is one of their greatest temptations. So I would suggest that the Catholic Spirit be very careful to check ALL their facts before print, or we will likewise have good grounds to quote their very words back at them.

Let's contrast this with the Gospel message of charitability; it seems that the Catholic Spirit is trying to discredit bloggers across the board. Why? We are all called rather to give people the benefit of the doubt. The Church, in fact, has NEVER condemned a single soul to Hell, but quickly jumps to discern if a particular soul was called to Heaven immediately; thus the process of Canonization, versus the non-existent process of damnation.

I have to ask then; why is this article so quick to paint with such a broad, condemning brush? Really? Do ALL bloggers fit this pattern, or is is just a matter of perspective? Or intention? Or just a mistake in bias?


If we look at the Cathoic Spirit's article about bloggers, they seem to be going the route of damnation of all bloggers. While I'm the first to admit that sometimes we don't have all the facts, as we all well know, neither do the journalists. In fact, most of the time, the journalists are completely useless and ALSO spread rumors and detraction in favor of readership and ratings.

I like to think that Catholic publications are above that, but I live in the real world, with real people, and with the recognition that deadlines often make people do crazy things...such as crunch in an article in favor of making the boss happy, versus getting the facts straight. Anyone every watch KSTP? Yeah...not only do they misspell their copy on the web page at times, but they so often misquote, misunderstand, and completely miss the point. Guess that's detraction and no TV news, newspaper, or magazine article can be trusted. Guess that means the Catholic Spirit is a bit discredited as well.

So my suggestion to the Catholic Spirit would be to remember your own words and cautions against breaking the 8th Commandment; for as professionals, you are held to a much higher standard; and as such, you may take a much greater fall if you falter. A blog can be deleted and the blogger anonymous. But a newspaper and byline goes down in infamy.

3 comments:

Cathy_of_Alex said...

There you go outblogging me again...:-)

smk said...

I thought it ... interesting ... that just after reading your blog, the google quote of the day was: "Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art." - Charles McCabe

I read the "Catholic Spirit" article, and it seems THEY are the ones being judgemental! Because SOME bloggers are gossipy doesn't make ALL blogs sins against the 8th commandment! And from what I've read, it's the COMMENTERS who get uncharitable, which isn't the blogger's fault!

Ray from MN said...

That was a great one, Adoro!

You hit 'em hard, but pulled your punch a bit just in time.

Good work. I'll be posting mine in a bit now. It's 2:30 on Friday.