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.Email this Post