National Catholic Register

Blogs

Pope Benedict speaks out on media lies

BY Matthew Warner

| Posted 4/1/10 at 3:30 PM

 

That’s right. Pope Benedict has spoken out about the lies and abuses in the media. Okay, so he said this a couple of years ago, but it is every bit as - if not more - relevant to today:

“In view of their meteoric technological evolution, the media have acquired extraordinary potential, while raising new and hitherto unimaginable questions and problems. There is no denying the contribution they can make to the diffusion of news, to knowledge of facts and to the dissemination of information…Unfortunately, though, they risk being transformed into systems aimed at subjecting humanity to agendas dictated by the dominant interests of the day. This is what happens when communication is used for ideological purposes or for the aggressive advertising of consumer products. While claiming to represent reality, it can tend to legitimize or impose distorted models of personal, family or social life. Moreover, in order to attract listeners and increase the size of audiences, it does not hesitate at times to have recourse to vulgarity and violence, and to overstep the mark.” - Pope Benedict XVI (42nd WCD)

He may as well have said these words at a press conference this morning. It’s a loving and elegant way of saying that the media is often full of baloney, corrupted by the power they wield and motivated by interests that not only disregard the truth, but intentionally work against it.

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way attempting to disregard or minimize the real truth about any scandal or abuse that has occurred. We must work for justice. That’s precisely my point - and the Pope’s. The latest widespread distortions and outright lies by the media about the Pope are exhibit A as to just how much these media “professionals” care about truth and justice. Zilch. If you are honestly seeking truth and justice, the so-called “main-stream” media is enemy numero uno right now - not your friend. More than any party involved, they have most publicly and loudly shown the greatest disregard for both truth and justice. And they continually and proudly publish more evidence every day.

On one hand, when this latest scandal first crept up, I was tempted to ignore it. It’s the same old stuff. The Pope and the Church never get a fair shake in the media. We are all tired of dealing with it.

On the other hand, things are changing. The liars aren’t changing. But their relevance is. They still do great damage. But entities like the New York Times, NBC, the BBC and virtually every large news organization are losing influence. And as they desperately grasp at their fleeting power, a new and much more powerful source of news is ripping it from them: YOU.

Social media has changed the way we get our news. It’s changed the way we determine what is credible. It’s changed the way we can counter misinformation. More than ever before, you can help expose lies, promote the truth and discredit anyone who works against that.

A few suggestions in service to the Truth:

1) Go out and find the news sources who are truthful and fair and share them. Email them to friends and family so they are informed. Share them on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

2) Go find forums and blogs that are talking about the latest scandal. Join the conversation. Don’t argue. Always be loving. Just present the truth. Sometimes that can be as simple as posting a link to something like Jimmy Akin’s latest analysis of the situation. Just make the truth present.

3) Email and call news organizations who are shirking their responsibilities and let them know you will no longer be supporting them. And don’t just contact the ones who have said outrageously inappropriate things. Contact the ones who have been silent or who have not reported specifically on how the media is lying. That’s a huge story that any reputable news organization should be reporting on.