Hang with me for a moment.
I went hunting this past weekend. In order to be safe from being mistaken for an animal, the prey, hunters are encouraged or even required to wear a bright orange color. This wise safety measure, of course, assumes that all the other hunters in the woods are not color blind.
Now if you know in advance that all the other hunters are color blind, you have no one else to blame but your self when you end up shot.
Translation? You don’t speak French to a bunch of neanderthals and expect NOT to be clubbed.
This is what happened to the Vatican press machine this past weekend with the “Pope approves condoms” story. Actually, this is what always happens to the Vatican press machine.
Let’s face it. The press getting this story wrong is the expected outcome but yet again the Vatican press office was caught flat footed. Yes, they issued a statement that, while correct, is written in the same language of nuance that got them in trouble in the first place.
I must admit that the whole thing has me scratching my head. The question I keep coming back to is “why?” Why did the Pope try to make this VERY nuanced point when it is obvious to even the most casual observer that the media would get this wrong? Did this nuanced point about male prostitutes really have to be made? I mean, have male prostitutes sworn off condoms because the Pope says they are wrong? Why? Why this point?
I cannot help but wonder if the Pope’s inner egg-head got the better of him here. In a way, I feel like the Pope wandered into the woods on the first day of hunting season while trying to make a point detailing the different kinds of rods and cones involved in color-blindness. It is just not the time or place to be making this point.
And then the Holy See press office. Somebody over there coulda shoulda known what was contained in this interview and anticipated the blowup. The whole reason you have a press office is so that you can be ahead of these kind of stories rather than being reactive. Extending my lame hunting analogy, it seems that the press office tells all of the color blind hunters “Hey, I think I saw something move over there!” And then claims “How was I supposed to know?”
Doesn’t anybody over at the Vatican, from the Pope on down, know how this works?
Listen up!!! The press doesn’t do nuance!
When will they get this through their pointy hats?