19 July 2007

One more media failure

My letter to the editor was published in tonight's issue of the Effingham Daily News. It was given the peculiar title, "Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel."

I wondered about this for several minutes until I realized what happened.

At the top of all my letters I give the date and, if there is one, the name of the feast or memorial celebrated by the Church. I wrote the letter on the Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who, of course, has nothing to do whatsover with the subject of the letter.

In the future I suppose I'll have to title my letters myself and leave no work to an editor. They simply will not inquire even the slightest into matters Catholic (or apparently even read letters from Catholics). And they say Catholics are arrogant. It's very irritating.


  1. It's not just a Catholic problem. Dealing with the press requires constant vigilance. An old friend of mine was an editor, back in Pennsylvania. When we'd attend the same meeting, he had a habit of quoting me as saying anything he thought should have been said. After several bouts with confusion, I got to the point where I'd call him the morning after a meeting and ask what I'd said. We avoided a lot of befuddlement that way.

  2. Luckily it wasn't the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord or the Purification or something =)

    Those would raise some eyebrows.

  3. Anonymous7:42 AM

    The letter you wrote was very good.

  4. The paper here had better not start doing what your friend did, Jeffrey.

    Andrew, I can always count on you for a laugh.

    Thanks, SF!

  5. Anonymous8:16 AM

    That is hysterical. :) I enjoyed Andrew's comment too.

  6. Anonymous9:24 AM

    I've visited your general area (Effingham, Mattoon, Shelby County) a few times in the past and am wondering if anti-Catholicism was common in your area. I've never been around long enough to confirm the general trend, but I have noticed what I perceived to be a general undercurrent of such. Was that my imagination or an accurate perception? If it exists, do you think it's behind your letter's treatment by the local paper? Is it out in the open, or is it limited to the fringes? Maybe somewhere in between?

  7. An excellent question, Drake, and one that I am beginning to seriously consider myself.

    I spoke with the editor this morning and she apologized "if" the title did not correspond with my letter. It was very evident she had no desire to understand me and that she had not read my letter at all, despite our conversation in person about my concerns. I have a call out to the publisher of the paper and hope to meet with him today or early next week. (Am I on a roll, or what?)

    I think there is a growing tendency toward anti-Catholicism, largly on the fringes but slowly becoming more prevalent. Effingham County itself used to be all but entirely Catholic; now it's closer to 50%, I believe. And, as elsewhere, most of them do not know their faith which contributes significantly to anti-Catholic sentiments.

    I don't think your imagination was at work, Drake; I think you were more perceptive than I.

  8. There's an undercurrent of it all over the country. Sometimes, not very far under.

  9. Or streaming right on top. Like here in Appalachia.

    And, once again, another excellent letter.

  10. Thanks, Thom!

    My conversation with the editor this morning was, to say the least, less than satisfactory; so I have a meeting with the publisher on Monday.

    There was another letter to the editor in tonight's paper by a fundamentalist with a skewed notion of history who has written before. I'll transcribe his letter later on to let all of you respond in the com box; you might well help me in my response (which I'm drafting now).

  11. Is that the one you had an exchange with before?

  12. You handled it very well before. You can do it again.