22 September 2007

Spin, spin, spin

As a blog aficionado, you must know, dear reader, that most of what is emanating from mainstream media ("MSM" to the kids) and blogospheria Anglicana is about spinning both the events and the speculation about events in New Orleans.

Maybe someone could come up with a clever game to play. If I weren't a teetotaller, this would have been made into a drinking game by now. Don't let me stop you. Perhaps some intrepid commenter can devise something terribly fun and novel.

Let us take some examples for inspiration:
  • Ruth Gledhill -- she'll have to be the cause of either bonus points or subtraction, but certainly something -- is always good for spin-ology. A recent article is entitled, "Pro-gay agenda pushes Church closer to schism." Well, no. "Pro-dissident agenda pushes Church closer to utter irrelevance" would have been more accurate but less sensational. Her subject, +Peter Akinola, is worried about schism? Maybe he should stop consecrating schismatic bishops. I seem to remember something about the beam in one's own eye...
  • In an encore, the Gledhill/Akinola duet delivers another dazzling aria of spin. Now Akinola is pretending as if he's dithering over whether or not to hold a parallel pseudo-Lambeth Conference next July for his buddies. The reality is that Peter has been looking for space in England for months now. This dithering is all for show. It's to his advantage to make petulant statements as if he's coming and then to also make petulant statements about not coming. Someday he'll make up his mind publicly, but the space is almost surely booked by now.
  • Every dissenter's favorite "spin machine," Episcopal Life Online, has churned out a beauty of a headline: "Archbishop of Canterbury 'encouraged' by bishops' meetings" and the subhead is "Nearly $1 million raised for hurricane relief efforts." Just the opposite of Gledhill's a-crisis-under-every-rock take on the situation. I'm not there, obviously, but I'm quite confident there's a truth somewhere between impending schism and fundraising/encouragement. You pretty much have to expect the house organ to have an optimistic take on things. To be sure, the ELO article is less spin-ish once you get past the cheery headlines, though that won't stop the howls from the right. (Let the reader know: I serve on the Board of Governors of Episcopal Life.)
  • Many secessionist bishops bought their plane tickets with the intent to split as soon as Rowan left. They have to get rested up for the big shindig in Pittsburgh, after all. But that didn't stop them from huffing off and making it seem like a sad/angry retreat.
Commenters -- please submit more spin examples, and maybe suggest a way we can use all this spin to good advantage, if not edification.

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