Protecting Oneself from an Untrustworthy Press

The NY Times sent reporter David Kirkpatrick to interview Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput on his remarks concerning what Catholics should consider regarding both the teachings of the church and their own consciences, before casting a vote for a candidate.

In other words, the bishop was tending to his flock. He is charged to do this in season and out. Even if it’s an election year.

But this particular shepherd is also a bit of a fox, and he was smart enough and savvy enough to understand that the mainstream media have ceased to be conveyors of fact, that in the war between left and right wing ideologies, too many in the mainstream press have begun to wield their pens as weapons, and to misuse their very privileged positions. These days a reporter may very well be – sad to say – not a gatherer of information but an enemy looking for a means to effect sabotage.

So Archbishops Chaput taped the interview, in order to protect himself.

Got that? Let it sink in for a second. The Archbishop of Denver, Colorado, USA, Planet Earth felt the need, when sitting down with a reporter from the venerable “Paper of Record” to tape the interview so that, should his remarks be misrepresented or taken out of context, he had the means to correct the record and thereby protect his reputation.

It is significant that he felt the need to do this. It speaks volumes as to the state of journalism in America. And it should chill you to the bone.

I know a few very good reporters, some Democrat, some Republican, and some Independant, so I cannot smear all journalists with a brushstroke of generalization. The reporters I know are to a person disgusted and embarrassed by the ideological excesses of the big cats at the NY Times and CBS and other outlets. They understand that the craft of journalism is not merely being sullied; it is being discredited and dismantled by people who are interested in nothing but what Paddy Chayevsky called “the breathless propagation of their own propaganda.”

Chaput has released the full transcript of that interview.

You can read the NY Times story filed by Mr. Kirkpatrick (who had been informed, btw, that Chaput was taping the chat)
here. Note the headline. No bias there. Nope. No slant at all.

Perhaps Kirkpatrick was looking to prove that the Archbishop is using his church to endorse a candidate, an action that would affect the church’s tax-free status. If he really wants to write that story, he should follow John Kerry around. There is a story there, if any reporter is interested.

About Elizabeth Scalia