Nicolosi and the Times, round III

windowAnd now it is time for another episode of Barbara Nicolosi and James the New York Times reporter. Barbara is the leader of the Act One screenwriting workshops in Hollywood and one of the most witty, at times even snarky, former nuns one would ever want to meet. “Snarky” can be a good thing, right?

If you want to catch up on the arc of this mini-drama, the previous acts and a lot of related links, click here. As I said before, Nicolosi is posting her side of her recent telephone encounters with a Times reporter who is writing a story on born-again right-wingers who have an evil plan to take over Hollywood, or something like that.

Barbara, you see, is not fitting into the mold that exists in the reporter’s mindset. She is not playing along.

I think more people involved in complicated, tense journalistic encounters in the blog age might want to try this approach. Let a million transcripts bloom. In the past, I have urged people I interview — if they are worried about being quoted fairly — to use a tape recorder. Then I have a tape and they have a tape. That’s fair, right?

Anyway, let’s get to the latest installment in this series, which is unfolding at Nicolosi’s blog, Church of the Masses.

So, I got a call today from my new friend, James, the NY Times reporter who has been working on the story to unmask the secret scary vast conspiracy to funnel money from rightwing political covert ops into Christian ministries in Hollywood. He was calling to say the piece he interviewed me for is running in this Sunday’s Times — the front page of the lifestyle section. It was very nice of him to call. . . .

James: I hope you’ll be okay with this. In my article, I referred to you as “a Catholic activist.”

Barb: Forgive me, but what the heck is a Catholic activist?

James: (laughing nervously) Well, you know, somebody who is really into organizing Catholic things.

Barb: But, I don’t organize Catholic things. I am the executive director of an interdenominational non-profit –

James: Yeah. Yeah . . . I know . . . but I had to call you something.

Barb: You could have called me the executive director of an interdenominational non-profit organization.

James: Yeah. Well . . . [cough]

Let’s all watch for that story in the Sunday edition of the Times. In a perverse sort of way, I hope that it ends up being pretty good — meaning that the facts are right and there is some balance to it. Hey, it could happen.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • http://www.independentweekender.com Jennifer Peacock

    This is completely off topic, but I stumbled across your blog today. What a great blog!

  • http://www.culture-makers.com/ Andy Crouch

    These exchanges are very funny, but it’s not clear to me whether they are actually transcripts. I think I’ll go over to Barbara’s blog and ask.

  • http://www.culture-makers.com/ Andy Crouch

    The article is up on the Web site, “On the Right Side of the Theater Aisle” by James Ulmer.

    Wonder how I could pick that title out of a list of headlines and know it was the one??