Christianity Today has posted (and others, such as Poynter.org, have quickly linked to) a Tony Carnes story about the behind-the-scenes efforts being played by the Christian journalists in mainstream media who are close friends with former USA Today reporter Jack Kelley. The key lines are:
Kelley’s Christian colleagues have responded personally to him concerning the preliminary report on Kelley’s reporting. … Their dilemma is how to support Kelley without losing their commitment to the truth.
This is well stated. There is a lively community of Christian who work in journalism in Washington, D.C., and it crosses all kinds of political and denominational lines. The agony of the current situation is well described throughout this CT article. For example, when the scandal broke conservative columnist Cal Thomas told CT:
“I have a nagging feeling that there is more to this than we know.” Although Thomas won’t say what he discussed with Kelley this week, he says that reporters of great integrity convincingly made the charges against Kelley. “I do not think that the evidence is plausibly deniable,” he concluded.
Thomas concluded that there were only three possibilities, a conclusion that many other Christian journalists share: “Either all these guys are lying, which is not credible. Or that Jack was not telling the truth or that he is delusional. I don’t see any other alternative.”
The conclusion for Thomas is both sobering and hopeful: “For any believer, redemption is the ultimate goal.”
P.S. (Monday) The Washington chapter of Gegrapha.org has responded to requests for a statement about the Kelley crisis. It stresses that this prayer group unequivocally opposes “any attempt to transgress the rules of journalistic integrity, especially on the part of those who profess the Christian faith.” The statement ends by saying:
At the same time, even if Jack had robbed a bank and were arrested and imprisoned, we would not desert him as a Christian brother who is paying the price for a serious violation of the law. … Jack remains a Christian brother and will need the support of Christian family and friends as he comes to terms with everything that has happened. Our position is that, though we are strongly against all of the actions of which Jack Kelley is accused, we will do our best to provide him with friendship and spiritual support as he faces what needs to be faced.