Last week, I critiqued the New York Times' front-page coverage of the "Church vs. Church" immigration debate in an Iowa town.
In that post, I lamented that the pastors of three leading evangelical churches in that community "declined repeated requests over several weeks seeking comment," according to the Times.
Without a strong religious voice supportive of President Donald Trump's immigration policies, the story ended up feeling slanted and incomplete, I noted. But I stressed that the Times couldn't be blamed, given that it made a strong attempt to talk to the pastors.
Shockingly enough, not everybody agreed with my take.
Reader Edward Dougherty replied with this comment:
It boggles this Catholic’s mind that you are surprised that any of these pastors would talk to the reporter.
This blog has existed on the premise that the media, by and large, are hostile to any kind of religion. The hero of these pastors, President Trump, paints the press as the enemy rather than a guardian of the people’s right to know. And then you are surprised when that actually manifests itself in the real world.
My response: I'm not necessarily surprised they didn't talk. But I don't think silence is the best approach when contacted by a reporter. Perhaps this is my own bias talking (I am a journalist, after all), but refusing to talk gives the impression, in my humble opinion, that the person contacted has something to hide.