02-06-2022Pastor's LetterFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Years ago, a news station did a real hit job on a friend of mine that affected his business for the worse. They had cleverly edited some video to make it sound like he was sayings things he never said. I went and spoke to the News Producer and she admitted they had edited the video to have my friend say things he never actually said. When I asked her how she could justify doing that, she simply said, “well even though he never said those things, he is the type of person who probably would say such things”.

You can call that: deutungshosheit. That is what the Free Press has decided it will be and now is. Deutungshosheit is a german word for which there is no good english equivalent. But it basically means interpretation-sovereignty or sovereignty over the narrative. In other words, the power to control meaning. Rather than present facts, the media creates a narrative and then fits the facts into that story line. And if the facts don’t fit the narrative then they are discarded or smothered with a pillow until they die.

Recently NPR reported that the reason Justice Sotomayor was hearing oral cases via video in her chambers and not sitting on the bench with the other Justices was because Justice Gorsuch refused to wear a mask, even after Chief Justice Roberts requested all the Justices to mask up while sitting on the bench. But apparently that was not the case.

All three Justices issued statements denying those details and stating clearly that no mask order was issued by the Chief Justice nor did Justice Sotomayor request such an order and that everything was simpatico between the Justices. NPR is sticking to its story.

The reason for that is the narrative. And for the Media, the narrative is that Justice Sotomayor is an enlightened progressive who oozes compassion. While Justice Gorsuch is a knuckle dragging Neanderthal who simply wants others to die from COVID. That’s the narrative and no matter the actual facts NPR is sticking to it.

Controlling the narrative allows the media to give meaning to the events of today or yesterday. An outlet such as the NY Times pretty much sets the Narrative, the rest of the media will support whatever they determine the Narrative is.

The Narrative is not necessarily right or wrong, it’s just, according to the Publishers at the Times, the right way to understand reality. Anyone who disagrees is basically intellectually constipated. Watching over the years, the Narrative they tell about the Church, and all the while being a Church insider, has been frustrating to say the least.

When information emerges or new facts come to light that reflect badly on the Narrative, those facts or new information are buried deep somewhere with the body of Jimmy Hoffa. If that doesn't work, then ad hominem attacks are launched against the whistleblower. It’s just not polite to bring up inconvenient truths that can topple the Narrative. All facts, all information have to be made to fit the Narrative. The media will even go so far as to splice, edit statements or sentences to make someone say something they never said and justify it by claiming that even though they didn't actually say it, they are the type of person that would have said it.

I don't want to give most of the journalists, talking heads and news anchors too much credit. Most of them just parrot what they are told, they don't do the research, they don't question motives and they are easily manipulated by government sources and other powerful people who they are impressed by. To put it bluntly most are not very smart. Bad for the rest of us who want a skeptical media, a media that will dig for facts and the truth no matter where it leads or what conclusions it may lead to.

It is really difficult to go against the narrative or present facts that contradict the narrative. Which is why we need to be sophisticated consumers of the news. Consumers who question the truth and veracity of what we are being fed. It helps if we each keep our thinking straight and don't surrender our ability to interpret and understand events according to our knowledge and experience.

Don't surrender your deutungshoheit unless the source is very trusted.