Thursday, December 18, 2008
Comment: last week Damian Thompson published some leaked, confidential documents relating to internal discussions in the Latin Mass Society, and supplied commentary on them which turned out to be erroneous. Yesterday he quoted from a leaked early draft of a report about Muslim schools by the thinktank Civitas, including items which were removed from the final draft, which Civitas had to ask him to take off the blog.
What these two posts have in common is that, first, they have clearly damaged the source of his information (the LMS and Civitas), but, second, Thompson is supposed to support the aims of these organisations. He is always banging on about the Traditional Mass and the dangers posed by the growth of the Muslim community and its institutions. While it is understandable - if perhaps not legal - for bloggers to quote damaging leaks from organisations they do not like, Thompson appears to be equally happy to do it to organisations which are are on his side. This isn't so much irresponsible as just nuts.
Why does he do it? Presumably for the sake of readership numbers. In other words, he is acting like the worst kind of tabloid journalist: going for sensational stories with no regard either for accuracy or the consequences of his actions.
This blog has picked up a great many stories from 'Holy Smoke', and we have probably contributed to those readership numbers. We hope that his many readers will nevertheless understand the reality: Damian Thompson is not a crusading journalist exposing the truth, but an egomaniac whose desire for publicity sometimes leads him to uncover things which should be uncovered - but equally, sometimes damages the very causes he espouses.
This is a lesson which should be learnt by all Catholic bloggers: think before you post!
Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael
Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen