60 Minutes’ ‘outrageously slanted’ nuns story

CBS released this clip last week, previewing the Sunday 60 Minutes piece. Talk about hard-hitting! Talk about the opposite of obsequious!

Oh wait. It looked horrific.

Apparently it was. After it ran on Sunday, one person tweeted:

“60 minutes” tonight marked the election of Pope Francis with an outrageously slanted Bob Simon piece hammering the Church

Another:

aaaand first up on 60 Minutes: Will Pope Francis continue using the same office as the Inquisition to persecute American nuns?

yeah, reporting is one thing. Glowing as you question the subject is quite another.

You can watch the whole thing and make your own judgment, but Godbeat veteran Jeffrey Weiss said the piece failed on a number of counts.

So he begins by praising 60 Minutes and notes he has no particular interest in the dispute between the Vatican and the nuns, “but the job of objective journalism, even investigative journalism, is to lay out the facts and even suggest conclusions — without tipping the scales beyond where the facts go.” He makes some excellent and reasonable points, after he cites a few of the problems early on in the piece. One is the over-the-top reference to a “new Inquisition.”

Another is this passage:

“The crackdown last year on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has sparked outrage — creating yet another rift between those who want the Church to reform, and those who do not.” …

And then there’s the “rift between those who want the Church to reform and those who do not.” Let’s look at a definition for “reform.”

“To put or change into an improved form or condition.”

Which side of this argument is pushing for change into an improved form, do you suppose?

One way of looking at it would be that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has drifted away from the doctrines and authoritative positions of the Catholic Church and are in need of, ahem, reform but do not want to reform. Which means the Vatican wants the American branch of the church to reform. Do you think that’s what Simon was suggesting?

Me, either.

There’s much more from Weiss and it’s well worth a read. OK, I have to pull out another part:

[Read more...]


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