The New Yorker is "a magazine that is not seriously edited," writes George Weigel in his latest column ("The New Yorker spins the pope"). Weigel reached his stinging conclusion after examining a recent article ("The Pope and Islam") from Jane Kramer, who pens a "Letter From Europe" feature for the magazine. In addition to citing the piece for falsehoods, mis-readings and errors, Weigel zaps Kramer's article as a "lengthy tantrum" and "a wailing wall for left-leaning Vaticanisti, disgruntled Curial bureaucrats, and Italian Catholic activists unhappy with Benedict XVI's challenge to Islam."
Here's the beginning of Weigel's article:
The New Yorker was once famous for the ferocity of its fact-checking and editing. No more.
Any magazine whose editors give a pass to falsehoods (e.g., Catholics believe that "heaven, and possibly earth, belongs exclusively to them"), grossly tendentious mis-readings of documents (e.g., Vatican II's Nostra Aetate taught "the dim possibility of Jewish salvation"), and factual errors (e.g., Karol Wojtyla was "one of the young theological advisers at Vatican II") is a magazine that is not seriously edited.
Jane Kramer's lengthy tantrum in the New Yorker's April 2 issue, "The Pope and Islam," is really several articles in one. It's a wailing wall for left-leaning Vaticanisti, disgruntled Curial bureaucrats, and Italian Catholic activists unhappy with Benedict XVI's challenge to Islam.
Kramer's article intended to articulate the Church's recent approach to Islam. Kramer's efforts, however, fall unpleasantly flat, Weigel opines.
In addition to negligent research, Weigel also takes issue with the people whom Kramer interviewed for the column.
Finally, Jane Kramer really ought to find herself some new Roman sources. The men she cites remind me of nothing so much as those unfortunate Japanese soldiers found on remote Pacific islands in the 1970s --- men who never, somehow, got the word that Emperor Hirohito had packed it in 30-some years before. One of her-refugees-from-radicalisms-past sighs that Vatican II was "the 1968 of the Catholic Church." Memo to source: It's over. Get over it.
The New Yorker: Funny cartoons ... Not-so-funny scholarship.
HT: The Tidings.