Recently, I was on a teleconference with the bishops tasked with informing the media of the particulars of the pope’s visit to America in April, and Bishop Donald Wuerl started it off well with a commentary on “the thought of Benedict XVI”, to help journalists get to know him better. During the Q&A afterward, one reporter said Pope Benedict is arriving in an election year between a pro-life candidate and two “pro-choice” candidates, “and he’s arriving in the world capital of soundbites”. So, she asked the bishops, “what can be done that he won’t be taken out of context?”Amen to that.
“A soundbite answer,” said Wuerl, goodnaturedly, to much laughter.
It’s the media’s responsibility to practice sound and truthful journalism, to do their homework and when that requires some extra reading and study and background research, then do that and be prepared to not put Pope Benedict into soundbites. Like they did with his Regensburg address.