Reporting on the Conclave

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I strictly limit the amount of news I listen to. On the way into work in the morning I listen to NPR and get my "updates."

What I find curious is the language used to convey the results of the conclave. This morning the reporter said something like, "The Cardinals have once again failed to elect a Pope."

It struck me as an unduly negative way to report the results. Is it actually a "failure" or is it rather part of a continuous progression toward success. Is it not sufficient to say that "The Cardinals have not yet chosen a new Pope." Somehow "failed" sounds as though they should have been able to do this by now, and we are, after all, only at the second round of voting. If we were eighteen or nineteen days into it, I could see "failed." But I prefer to think of it in this way, "The Holy Spirit is moving toward the selection of a new Pope." Obviously that would not do for secular reporters, but it remains my preferred way to think about what is actually happening.

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The reporters are far too used to democratic votes. They have no idea about prayer. It makes for awful word choices about what is happening, as you note.

Regardless of their words, we will have a pope.

What's funny if they'd elected a pope yesterday reporters might've said, "The College of Cardinals rushed their selection of pope...". Especially if it was someone they didn't like (ala Cdl Ratzinger).

I had the same thought as I was listening. You don't want to know what I was thinking listening to Talk of the Nation yesterday when they had Charlie Curran on.
I think that it is time for those of us who regularly listen to NPR to write them a letter every time they pull that kind of garbage. We need to call them to responsibility. We pay their bills through our memberships.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 19, 2005 7:46 AM.

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