“Get her to apologize”

An sg-lovin’ former publisher of CCM Magazine doesn’t come off looking too good in this excerpt from Matthew Paul Turner’s book, Hear No Evil, which has the publisher demanding that a reporter extract an apology from Amy Grant for her divorce from Gary Chapman, and then fabricating the apology when Grant herself  wouldn’t give one (h/t, NG). Money quote:

Amy’s face still graced the cover of CCM that month, but the story printed only loosely resembled the one I wrote. Gerald forced my editorial director to rewrite the story. The new story featured Amy miraculously apologizing. Her quotes were fabricated and molded into something that didn’t represent her story or my story, but rather a story that reflected the moral absolutes Gerald believed CCM hadn’t upheld until he was in charge.

The whole thing is here.

Update, also via NG: two links, one to a page that appears to link to the CCM article in question, another that appears to be the raw transcript from the interview on which the article was evidently based. Now what would really be interesting to see is Turner’s first draft … the one he said Gerald threw on the floor.

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  1. Extra Ink wrote:

    That’s an amazingly frightening revelation about the leadership of CCM at that juncture in its history. How do these people acquire positions of power?

    I did, however, catch the negativity in Turner’s comment that his boss at CCM mainly listened to Southern Gospel….as if mainly listening to Southern Gospel meant you have no imagination and no appreciation for the truth. False.

    Doug, thanks for the link. I will be buying this book. Looks interesting.

  2. Janet B wrote:

    I read the article. Disgusting, but not surprising, unfortunately.
    Too bad there isn’t a place where we can put all legalistic, self-righteous boobs together and they can devour each other.

  3. pk wrote:

    I’m glad the author wrote the article to help us see what goes on behind the scenes. God is in the business of grace. Humans, not so much.

  4. bob miller wrote:

    The question that needs to be asked….did “Matthew” ever contact Ms. Grant and explain to her what happened to the story?????
    And..who IS this “Gerald” person?????????

  5. Kyle wrote:

    The insinuation I get is that the southern gospel fan is a close-minded, self-righteous person who is more concerned about CCM reflecting high morals and standards than the truth.

    Funny how those two seem to contradict each other!!!

  6. NG wrote:

    Here’s a link to the 2002 article by Turner in which Grant supposedly “apologizes” for her divorce.


  7. NG wrote:

    If you want to read the uncut version of the full interview, here’s the link:
    It sure doesn’t jibe with the article I linked in post #5

  8. Jake wrote:

    Interesting that this guy “Gerald” has such a problem over someone having a divorce in his or her past, but thinks nothing of slandering them by making up words they never said, and attributing them to the writer of the article, who never wrote them. I wonder if “Gerald” has ever come out and publicly repented of his own failures?

  9. KDM wrote:

    Interesting comparison between the interview and the published article. It’s a very typical tactic of secular press. Yes, she said those words, but she didn’t use them in the context in which they were represented in the published interview. So when you go back to the interviewer and the publisher and accuse them of dishonesty, they can say “Hey, we printed what she said!” That’s true. They did. But changing the meaning of the words is as much lying as making things up from whole cloth. Even though it’s sad, you expect that from the secular media, who don’t owe allegiance to a higher authority. It’s absolutely disgraceful when it comes from a “Christian” publication that’s supposed to represent Christianity and Christ to the world.

  10. art wrote:

    #9 - As a former drone in the secular media, I’d like to stand up for the average reporter and editor.

    Yes, distortions and lies are out there in the secular media. I believe they are not typical. I believe that most secular reporters and editors strive for honesty and fairness, with the same variations of success, competence and integrity that you find in any walk of life.

    I’ll make an exception in the case of media outlets that I disagree with.

  11. bob wrote:

    I’m with you, Art. I worked more than three decades in the secular media (newspaper)and I can attest that such a travesty would have never happened there. It may happen with some of the whacko tabloids for all I know but I strongly disagree that its par for the course in the secular print media.

  12. Tom wrote:

    #5 Kyle:

    You’re smarter than that. If you’re reading anti-southern gospel bigotry into that part of the story, methinks you’ve got your sensitivity radar set a little too high.

    The point was that the PUBLISHER of the primary fan magazine covering ccm was NOT someone who even listened to ccm music. It wouldn’t have mattered whether the guy listened only to polka or some other genre. As it turns out, the guy listened only to southern gospel. The point was that he was publisher of CCM Magazine and did NOT listen to that genre of music. Nothing anti-southern gospel is implied in this piece.

    CCM has its share of theological myopia among its fanbase, just like southern gospel does.

  13. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Almost every reporter condenses the story, whether to put their personal spin on it or to keep it from being too boring. At the very least, a good reporter doesn’t want to come across as a glorified transcriber. If this wasn’t the case, interviews would always be presented in full.

    We’ve seen the raw interview and the article that was printed. Actually, the “raw interview” is a hybrid. It doesn’t include his apology to Amy Grant before posing the potentially embarrassing questions.

    We can read the “entire” “raw” interview, in other words, but don’t think for a minute you’re reading everything that was said before and after each question.

    And yet, art wants us to agree that most media is fundamentally honest. I can’t agree with that. One of the most difficult things to do in print is to accurately convey facts. Not only is the person writing the article possessed by some bias or another (like the CCM editor’s distaste for people who enjoy Southern Gospel and not anything else), the writer must also be very clear. The reader is going to perceive a bias whether it actually exists or not, because the reader has a bias too.

  14. 2miles wrote:

    A few thoughts…

    1) How can someone call someone they don’t know “legalistic, self-righteous boobs” but not see that to say something like that is, at best “judging” (a topic that usually closely follows such phrases) and at worse showing themself to be a “self-righteous boob”. You don’t know the person. You are taking someone else’s word/bait “hook, line and sinker” and judging the fire out of “Gerald” and anyone that may have a more strict or conservative stance than yours and self-righteously judging that you are right and they are wrong. Hypocrocisy amazes me. How blind we are to our own faults!

    2) Bob - “Never” is a strong word. IF what this writer is saying is true (you too, obviously believe his side and version without even considering that “Gerald’s” may differ), how many times in your local paper have you known the details of a story (car accident, board meeting, event. etc) only to read something the next day in print that is erroneous or at best leaves the reader with an impression different than the one you feel is the correct one…

    Read the interview, She said those words. Out of context? I don’t know. She said she was sorry if she offended or hurt anyone, the article said the same… Read the blurbs and headlines of FOX, MSNBC, CNN they do it EVERYDAY to grab your attention…when you read further in you realize that the headline was a bit misleading although you can’t pinpoint them and say they were lying…

    I’ve noticed this since I started reading newspapers. I figured it was taught in Journalism 101…It’s widely prevelant…If you don’t believe me, respond to this post and I’ll go to one of the outlets and find an article where this exact thing is going on as we type…

    My dad always said “There are three sides to every story. Your side, my side, and the truth”.

    Seldom do they all meet…

  15. art wrote:

    #13: David, I don’t think you and I disagree much on this point. I said most secular reporters and editors strive for honesty and fairness. I didn’t say they enjoy perfect success.

    Yes, they summarize. Yes, they try to make it interesting. And in so doing, they strive for honesty and fairness — I believe.

    I don’t unconditionally buy the portrait Matthew paints of Gerald. I think Matthew portrayed his own journalistic credentials as rather thin.

    Best regards,

  16. Irishlad wrote:

    wonder why “gerald”didn’t ask the former mr grant to apologise for his “habit” which cost him his books.

  17. Mr. Big wrote:

    Extra, Extra, Read all about it! Headline: Bible says God will not forgive your sins! Our source quotes Joshua.

    Following in small print:
    See full transcription in Joshua 24:19.

  18. Lovelife wrote:

    I just don’t get IT!! Why does this guy feel she owes an apology. If she apologized to the ones she truly hurt, that is all that matters and the most important thing is if she repented to God. This is really getting old and boring. I am like one of the other posters, does Gerald not feel he was wrong by lying about her apology???

  19. AAron wrote:

    I seen Amy Grant and Vince Gill on the cover of this month`s “Good Housekeeping” mag. … Really!? Of all mags to be on… Ha!

  20. bob wrote:

    2miles… by “never” I meant that in my career there never was a case in which anyone at the newspaper where I worked fabricated a story (as per quotes etc.) No question errors occurred, however. No matter how hard one tries to be accurate, errors will crop up. Again..I meant to convey that where I worked, at least, errors were honest ones and stories were not contrived…as some in the public seem to think that all media representatives do….. As far as believing the writer of the article about Ms. Grant……lets see if “Gerald” contradicts him…..
    best wishes

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