Interviewing ‘everyone’ about the conclave

I love that biting Leonard Cohen song “Everybody Knows.” It begins:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded

Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed

Everybody knows the war is over

Everybody knows the good guys lost

Everybody knows the fight was fixed

The poor stay poor, the rich get rich

That’s how it goes, everybody knows

Great poetry. Possibly not the best approach for journalism, though. One Associated Press reporter used this approach for a lede on the Vatican conclave:

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican insists that the cardinals participating in the upcoming conclave will vote their conscience, each influenced only by silent prayers and reflection. Everybody knows, however, that power plays, vested interests and Machiavellian maneuvering are all part of the game, and that the horse-trading is already under way.

I kind of want to sing it. But as the Twitter image above shows, really this shows what a remarkable reporter we’re dealing with! How does one even interview “everyone”?

Is the “everybody” all the Cardinals? All billion Catholics in the world? All people in the world? No matter — it’s very impressive. Why everybody knows about how Machiavellian things are!

Anyway, interesting story with tons of speculation. Everybody knows how that works out.

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  • Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz

    A well-deserved ruler slap on the knuckles. You’d have almost made a good nun, Mollie — you know, the kind that “everybody knows” existed pre-Vatican II.

  • Will

    Ah, yes, that “everyone” who is so well informed and so infallible. I always say that if “Everybody knows” something, ten to one it is utter fabrication.
    Everyone knows that!

  • http://www.columbia.edu/~ejc2165/erikcampano/ Erik Campano

    Pretty sure my 3-year old niece doesn’t know.

  • Adam

    I found this article by John L. Allen Jr., my favorite conclave reporter, to be quite interesting. He talks about the impossibility of using standard sourcing when covering the Papal election. I think there was an article last week on GetReligion about that very topic.

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/how-do-we-know-whos-papal-contender

  • Chris Bolinger

    After 30+ years doing the same job, Simpson just interviews himself now.


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