Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Slanted reporting

This little paragraph was printed in the "Newsbriefs" section of our paper yesterday. These are typically little one-paragraph summaries of stories around the country, so one doesn't expect in-depth reporting.

However, even I was shocked at how much bias and slant was packed into a mere 112 words, starting with the title: "British Columbia: Breakaway Anglican leader to give talk". It looks like the writer was hellbent on getting the word "breakaway" in the headline, even though the way it's written makes no sense at all. It suggests that Archbishop Venables is some sort of Anglican equivalent to Archbishop LeFebvre, when he is a perfectly normal Anglican clergyman. If the writer meant "leader of breakaway Anglicans" even that is false - the parishes he has "adopted" are still Anglican, just not answerable to the same bureaucracy as before. Redistricting is a common occurrence when it comes to political boundaries; this is something similar, only the people involved have done it for themselves.
A South American archbishop who adamantly opposes homosexual relationships is coming to Vancouver on Friday despite being told to stay away by Canada's top Anglican. Archbishop Gregory Venables, who claims to represent 15 breakaway Anglican congregations in Canada, will speak at a gathering in a Vancouver suburb. Archbishop Venables is recruiting Anglican congregations in Canada and the U.S. that have opposed the ordination of homosexuals and the church blessing of their relationships. The primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Fred Hilz, wrote a public letter to Archbishop Venables yesterday urging him to stay home and saying that entering his North American jurisdiction "will further harm the strained relations" between Canadian Anglicans.
That's it - that's the whole story, and yet it manages to squeeze in a misleading headline and 3 separate attacks, and I would say 2 downright lies, in the course of one paragraph. It makes me wonder if Canwest New Services is just lazily relaying ACC head office propaganda as news whenever they have to report on anything Anglican-related.

(BTW, I note that the word "relationship" is undergoing deformation: it now means exclusively "sexual congress", and yet the writer is too coy to actually admit it.)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Canada's top Anglican"

You're the top!
You're the Coliseum.
You're the top!
You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonnet,
A Shakespeare's sonnet,
You're Mickey Mouse.
You're the Nile,
You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top!

Ellie M., with apologies to Cole Porter

10:12 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Yeah, it is a clumsy formulation. Even if Hiltz has been elected, calling him the "top Anglican" is a bit more than he's entitled to. Would they call George Bush the 'top American'?

1:41 pm  

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