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Over the last few days, this blog has tackled the subject matter of “corrupt information” and how this “corrupt information” is used to produce “alternative realities” in the media environment. The relevant point that this blogger tried to make is just how extensive this phenomenon of the “corruption of information” is in the wider media environment, from the financial sector through to the Catholic Church media operations. The example that we analyzed pertained to  “supposedly” objective information vendors such as Reuters, information vendors who “purportedly” supply “objective information” to the financial markets. The point was that even these types of news organizations fall prey to these unscrupulous purveyors of “corrupted information” who write for these services. The two posts, Alternative Realities – Polar Bear Hunting (see here) and And the Walls, Come Tumbling Down (see here) should serve as a good jump off point for today’s subject matter.


Before we get to the subject at hand of “crucifying Pew Sitter”, it needs to be stated for the record that this blog post is not addressing the issue of editorial license. I have no problem with any publication that has an “explicit” editorial policy that is either left wing or left leaning or progressive or any other euphemism used to describe any “point of view” that is detached from objective reality. I am all for diversity of opinion, regardless of how detached or even devoid it might be of any “sensibility or reason based underpinnings” . In other words, I am for true and real diversity of opinion. Given the a fore mentioned, I have no problem with these sorts of publications or electronic media venues since I know what to expect when I open the cover or turn to that channel. This concept that I am describing in this paragraph is commonly referred to as “truth in advertising”, and it is an honest policy under which some publications operate. Let’s call this the “explicit editorial line – truth in advertizing” camp.

Now what I do have a problem with, is the “purported” news agencies that have a biased editorial policy that is implicit in the reporting that they produce. Actually, where I have a HUGE problem is with “purported” news agencies that have an obvious editorial bias while claiming that they are “objective” news agencies. And I think most honest people also have a problem with this. A good examples of entities that exhibit this implicit editorial bias are such publications as the New York Times, the Boston Globe and any subsidiary of the a fore mentioned. In the electronic media, perfect examples are the leftist news monopolies of ABC/CBS/NBC/PBS/ CNN. With these entities, not only I have a problem, but any honest person who has any semblance of respect for “objective truth” should have one also. And this goes especially for any person who maintains that he is a Christian or Catholic. Let’s call this the “hidden editorial bias-dishonestly advertized” camp.

So now that we have the stage set, let’s get cracking and really crucify Pew Sitter.

Crucify Him!

A couple of days ago, an article appeared written by a cleric that was highly critical of the Pew Sitter website and especially of its editorial policy. (see here)

Now from what I have observed, Pew Sitter would fall squarely in the camp of a news aggregator who has an “explicit” point of view and operates under a “truth in advertizing” editorial line. In other words, the editorial policy of Pew Sitter would squarely fall in the “explicit editorial line – truth in advertizing ” camp.

Now, the publication in which this above mentioned cleric published his screed article against Pew Sitter, appeared in a publication that would not fall into either the “explicit editorial policy or the “truth in advertizing” camp, but rather into the “hidden editorial bias-dishonestly advertized” camp. And this is a perfectly supportable assumption since said publication is a subsidiary of the New York Times – Boston Glove corporate entity.

I think we can all agree on this one.

As to the offending article, here is the passage that this humble blogger finds most relevant:

“PewSitter is small fry. It’s a tempest in a teapot!” you might protest, but what the furor over the PewSitter headline reveals is that American Catholicism is divided as never before. Some conservatives who feel threatened by Pope Francis have retreated into a right-wing, paranoid enclave from which they broadcast panicked videos, sarcastic blog posts, and uber-orthodox traditionalist jeremiads.

Notice the appeal to emotion, i.e. “Paranoid enclave, right wing, feels threatened, broadcasting paranoid videos, and uber-orthodox traditional jerimiads. No rational argument what so ever. Without formally listing all the logical fallacies contained in this paragraph, (for reference please see the side bar Logical Fallacies list) it is important to notice the following:

If Pew Sitter is such a “small fry”, why is this subsidiary of a HUGE media conglomerate and the its contributors so interested with what appears on its website?

Next question, if the Pew Sitter is such a “small fry”, how can any “sample of the population that visit its website and read its headlines” reveal anything of value about the wider “American Catholicism”?

I will leave these two obvious questions open for now, but they will need to be addressed.

A further question that needs to be posed here is this: If Pew Sitter is such a “small- fry” what is behind the urgent need to “Crucify Him”!

Controlling the Narrative

Which leads to another article that appeared today on the Deadline Hollywood website regarding another “tempest in the teapot” that is being waged against Bill O’Reilly by mainstream leftist propagandists “journalists” at present. For those not familiar with the story, Bill O’Reilly and Fox News are coming under attack for news reports that O’Reilly produced in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s while at CBS.

It would appear that this scrutiny is the result of the Brian Williams affair at NBC News. (see here) The skinny is that due to one of the main leftist mainstream news anchors being completely compromised by false statements that he made repeatedly and recently, one Brian Williams, the leftist media establishment has taken it upon themselves to change the narrative, attacking the most highly watched news anchor in the cable industry, Fox New’s Bill O’Reilly.

Without getting into too many details, it appears that the “leftist media tempest in a tea pot” has been a complete and utter disaster. How do we know this? Well, since the launch of the attacks on the credibility of O’Reilly, his rating and viewership have soared. (see here) Here is the relevant text:

O’Reilly’s ratings appears to be inversely related to the pelting he’s undergone about claims he made regarding his involvement covering major news events in the past.

So why am I bringing the situation with Mr. O’Reilly into the picture, you may ask dear reader?

The answer is quite simple.

If you recall, there was a rather large scandal exposed by the Daily Caller in 2009 and 2010 that was commonly known as the JournoList scandal. (see here) In this scandal, up to 400 leftist “left leaning” journalists “conspired” in an attempt to “control” the wider mainstream media narrative during the 2008 presidential election. The conspirators even went as far as trying to get the federal government to shut down one of their main competitors, i.e. Fox News. Now, the JournoList members came from exactly these same types of organizations as the New York Times and Boston Globe.

Therefore, is it really that farfetched to suspect that maybe the editors of the New York Times/Boston Globe subsidiary are engaged in this same type of operation in the narrower Catholic Church “news space” that is the target market of their subsidiary publication?

Now, I can’t say for certain, but the above “assumption” about the true intent behind the cleric’s article would definitely go a long way to provide the answers to the two question posed above. Just a reminder, the two questions are:

If Pew Sitter is such a “small fry”, why is this subsidiary of a HUGE media conglomerate and the its contributors so obsessed with what appears on its website?

Next question, if the Pew Sitter is such a “small fry”, how can any “sample of the population that is reading its headlines” reveal anything of value about the wider “American Catholicism”?

And if the above is the case, then it would also go a long way in answering this bizarre “suggestion” that was posed by the cleric author in his last sentence of the below cited paragraph, namely:

Not content to pillory the pope and mock the “FrancisChurch,” the editors at PewSitter dish their scorn on fellow conservative Catholics who dare to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. For many, their cruel and ignorant headline on Willy Herteleer’s burial is the last straw.

Pro Multis?

Where have I heard that one before? But I digress…

So let’s wrap this up since this post is running long.

Summa Summarum

From this last sentence, I would suggest that maybe the side that is a “Paranoid enclave, right left wing, feels threatened, broadcasting paranoid videos articles, and uber-orthodox traditional “pseudo moderate” jerimiads” is the side represented by this cleric.

Come to think, a ton of money must have went into the creation and keeping afloat of this New York Times/Boston Globe subsidiary. One can also easily make the assumption that if this type of a “news” organization feels threatened by a website like Pew Sitter, it does not bode well for its investors. But I digress…

But the above still does not provide a comprehensive answer to the two questions posed above. The essence of the questions pertains to why a large news conglomerate feels the the need to “go after” a small website like Pew Sitter. For that matter, why does a large media operator like Fr. Rosica need to go after an independent blogger like Vox Cantoris?

The answer to both this occurrences might just lie in what the Radical Catholic observed in his highly prescient post titled On PewSitter, Priests and Catholic Divisiveness: (see here)

The reason why the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ are to be rejected as applying to groups within the Catholic Church is the very same reason why those who defend the Catholic faith must take such a clear and uncompromising position. There is a spectrum of political positions, but there is no spectrum of truth. A proposition is either true or false, a conclusion either correct or incorrect. Either you accept it or you do not. If Fr. Longenecker can’t see that the motivation of faithful Catholics is comprised of something far nobler than “tribalism” or “partisan bickering,” I’m afraid he’s missed the point entirely. We do not take this position simply to counteract the progressive forces in the Church. We take this position because our faith and our fidelity to Christ’s Church demand it.

The most likely answer to the above two questions is in the fact that the “alternative realities” created by these “purported” news organizations, are by definition based on “corrupted information”, cannot coexist with “objective reality”, i.e. with the TRUTH. And when any of these organizations who “create and promote” these “alternative realities” are confronted with “objective reality”, whether by Vox Cantoris or by the editorial staff at Pew Sitter, their only recourse is to react emotionally and violently. We see this phenomenon in the “brutal and violent” Francis Christmas message to the Curia, the Fr. Rosica legal action against Vox Cantoris and now we are seeing this same mechanism in play with the NYT/Boston Globe’s subsidiary against Pew Sitter.

Which brings to mind a verse from Matthew 7:26-29 that succinctly sums up the above situation that Francis the bishop of Rome, Fr. Rosica and the NYT/BG published cleric find themselves in: (see here – from the Deuy-Reims Bible, the official bible of the Deus Ex Machina blog)

And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. And it came to pass when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine. For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees.

Couldn’t have summed it up better myself.

On an aside, I found an interesting comment underneath the article, whose subject was the many different variations one can use the “Who am I to judge” line. I would suggest to the cleric the following accentuation:

Not so much WHO am I to judge, but rather Who am I to judge.

Isn’t FrancisChurch fun?

Post Scriptum

I re-used the Hitler finds out about Williams parody since it is so fitting in this case.