Comments: Rowan Williams in the Telegraph

Is it just me, or does the Telegraph's editorial reproduced at the top of this post sound about as disingenuous as anything ever written? Williams' article only take one reading to get the gist. I suspect the real problem is that neither the authors of the story nor the editors of the paper took the time to confirm what they were saying.

Posted by Mark Sides at Monday, 3 January 2005 at 4:40pm GMT

Only a fool would not understand that in the face of the geatest natural disaster in living memory, reporting would, of necessity, be reduced to "sound bites".
That the erudite pontifications of the Archbishop would be reduced to an equally devastating "soundbite" was a given.
The worldwide Anglican Communion flinched as it resounded around the world via BBC, Sky,CNN, etc.

Posted by Margaret Robb at Tuesday, 4 January 2005 at 2:00am GMT

If the editor of the Telegraph cannot understand the simple, straightforward prose of the Archbishop perhaps he should ask one of the janitors at the newspaper office to explain it to him. Both the headline for the opinion piece and the even worse headline from the accompanying article about the opinion piece were so bizarre that I knew they were a misrepresentation of the Archbishop before I even read what he wrote!

Posted by Jim Tweedie at Tuesday, 4 January 2005 at 9:33am GMT

Margaret,

I agree that reporting on the news of the tsunamis and the aftermath necessitates getting information out quickly, at the risk of some sloppiness. However, the original Telegraph article was not a fast-breaking piece of news. It was a story about an opinion piece that the authors had right in front of them. Sorry, but that's inexcusable and, I suspect, less the result of sloppiness than other motives.

Posted by Mark Sides at Thursday, 6 January 2005 at 2:02pm GMT

This whole episode is enormously revealing of the way that Rowan Williams is regarded by many journalists. They recognise his obvious intelligence; but they cannot understand how such an intelligent man could possibly be an orthodox Christian believer; so they assume that he must be a covert unbeliever, or at the very least struggling with his faith. They therefore attempt to construe his public utterances in such a way as to draw out the loss of faith which (they assume) must be lurking somewhere underneath. The subtlety and complexity of his comments only reinforce their conviction that he must have something to hide.

I think it is very much to the Archbishop's credit that he resisted the demand for a soundbite, and chose to express his thoughts in a more extended and considered way. The problem of evil cannot be solved in a soundbite, and only a fool would try.

Posted by Andrew Conway at Sunday, 9 January 2005 at 11:54pm GMT

Events such as the recent Tsunami inevitably prompt a spectator syndrome. We are horrified by the seemingly capricious nature of the massive number of deaths. Do we think that we will always be spectators of death? Death is a tragedy of equal magnitude whether it is someone dying suddenly in an automobile accident, a tsunami or of old age. Perhaps the headlines should have read Thousands Die in Tsunami and Someday You Will Also Die.

Posted by Joe Spillman at Tuesday, 11 January 2005 at 12:29am GMT
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