Will you mention my name …?

Even though the blogger “debate” was over before it ever started, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a contingent in southern gospel – led, most vocally these days, by the Unthanks of sogospelnews.com — who won’t try to make the question of the media’s role in gospel music about how much more Christianly they are than “some people.” What a tired and tiring rehash. Life would be a lot easier for sogospelnews if the Unthanks would just admit they’re a press-release clearinghouse, discussion-board host, and fan site for gospel music. This is a respectable enough thing to be, after all, and sogospelnews does this pretty well.

If they’d take pride in that and stop insisting on being some kind of flagship of Christian journalism, it would, in the first place, save them the energy of making of all those dubious analogies and relying on so many self-reinforcing fallacies (my favorite: that the Bible gives us specific instructions on how to be good Christian journalists) that inevitably make their appearance whenever Susan and Deon (but mostly Deon; he’s the solipsist and she’s the enforcer) start explaining why they are, were, and will be right all along. Like George Bush, the Unthanks look back on their pantheon of missed opportunities, bad judgment, and self-serving administration and see no mistakes, nothing they’d do differently, except be more right than they already believe themselves to be.

By now, it’s pretty obvious that the Unthanks make most of the rules up as they go along – who to cover, what to report, what not to mention – and justify it when they must after the fact in the name of Christian journalism. Don’t want to alienate a powerful industry figures by reporting on things like divorces (even though many of the prominent people involved make “family” the whole basis of their public persona and professional life)? Just refuse to say anything until it’s absolutely impossible to ignore any longer, and then assail anyone who tries to discuss it in comments threads. Mad ‘cause some blogger named Avery criticizes you? Claim he violates your good conscience and then just pretend he doesn’t exist (even though one gets the feeling they’d really really like to give me a good flogging in times like these … I’m not sure he meant to, but Chuck Peters’ comment here implicitly suggests - as does the absence of any reply from Susan Unthank to Chuck’s spot-on observation - how the Unthanks get tripped up by their own self-serving administrative edicts once in a while).

I do note that sogospelnews blogger John Scheideman refers to me, if awkwardly and never by name, in this post. I guess that could be construed as progress of a sort given sogospelnews’ track record, but whether the sogospelnews stylebook officially bans mention of my name (do they even have a style book over there?) or whether the atmosphere is just so bilious with anti-Avery sentiment that writers can’t bring themselves to utter the name averyfineline, the situation is as amusing as it is silly. Get over it. You can mention my name and still hate me in the morning.

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  1. Montana Man wrote:

    Does it all make you wonder how the Unthanks would have covered King David’s transgressions — just for starters?

  2. HHE wrote:

    You are certainly on the money this time Avery!

    The Boards on that site are under a Dictatorship. If you don’t agree with their propaganda, then, shame on you. I’ve seen posts made by Susan, where, she demanded that we the Readers should for some reason bow to Her and Her opinions.

    I think that the whole purpose for their site is to promote the less than good talent of “Sunday Edition”. Man, have you ever heard them try-to-sing in person? They can’t even spell harmony, let alone sing it!

    Oh Boy, I better stop now, before I start talking about the Unthanks’ children [remainder edited]

  3. Sandy wrote:

    I second that motion…

  4. Stephen wrote:

    AMEN AMEN AMEN! The real problem here is that people continue to feed the Unthank money tank by becoming a ‘Southern Spin Artist’. Sure, they do mediocre web work, which in my opinion all looks the same. Kind of reminds me of the Brady Bunch movie when Mike Brady can’t build a business that doesn’t look like their own house. I’ll never forget at NQC one year, the Unthank and Bandy boys walked around with color in their hair, laughing at themselves the entire way. If they were trying to prove a point, I think I got it. The point I got was that someone never left high school. In another unrelated event, the ‘daughter’ came to hear us once when we were doing vocals in the studio, when she introduced herself to the staff, she said “Hi, I’m an Unthank”…and the radio promotor responded “you baked a what?”… oh, the vanity.

  5. Karalyn wrote:

    You guys have hit the nail on the head… I’ve given up commenting on sogospelnews.com anything slightly opposite their opinions because I am tired of being bashed into the ground!

  6. JW wrote:

    Hey, I want to know who died while “in the company of” a stripper.

  7. Grigs wrote:

    Re: Scott and Chris with purple hair. IIRC,They made some sort of deal with the the youth group at their church…if the youth group reached a certain goal, they could do whatever they wanted to their hair. The youth group met the goal(I can’t remember if it was attendance, fundraising, or whatever). I’m sure that Chris and Scott were expecting to be shaved bald, but instead, the kids gave them the dye job.

    I don’t always agree with the Unthanks, but they are nice people in person, especially Deon and Susan.

  8. Chuck Peters wrote:


    You are right.. I have had my share of run ins with the Unthanks over this and that.. but nothing important enough to be hurtful to them. I would run their website different.. but it ain’t mine.. so there ya go.

    They are very nice people.. and they have feelings. So take it easy.


  9. Rod wrote:

    Gee whiz oh golly I wish I knew the Unthanks so I could get in on this one. But I still think you should be nice…the posts I’m reading are getting carnal…I’m bored can’t you tell. What’s the sogospelnews.com ??? I must investigate!!! I thought the Singing News was “THE VOICE OF SOUTHERN GOSPEL AND ALL ITS SUBSIDERARIES”?

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