Today I received my weekly email blast from the Presbyterian Outlook, and, perhaps, for those who are Presbyterians of the PCUSA flavor, you attend to emails offering to be and become a reliable news source during the meetings of the General Assembly.
The text, however, attempted to make at least two contrasts that undermined that intention. One version proposed to grab the low-hanging fruit, trading upon common- and accurate- understandings of news sources such as Fox, presuming that such media will articulate its understanding of the GA in fashion coherent with its typical rendering of news.
The notion advanced, of course, is that the Outlook will provide accurate reporting, “right down the middle” as they say in sports journalism, without obvious ecclesiastical commitments in filtering the news. This is not to say that the Outlook can provide an unfiltered transmission of the events, communications, and decisions made in the GA.
And the Outlook confirms as much in the second contrast they make: “So what will your fellow church members hear about the GA? Will it be accurate or inflammatory?”
So…”accurate” reporting will not incite or elicit anger, disappointment, pain, or grief? And “inflammatory” reporting will not illuminate, or authentically represent the commissioners, or clearly articulate contested theological and ecclesial decisions? Obviously: This binary doesn’t function as a polarity.
Yes, yes: spin has always been part of the onramp to every GA. This level of marketing generates the nausea alert for the upcoming spin, err… reporting of the GA.