But, but, but . . . Blagojevich!

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (L), with his wife Patti, talks to reporters after being found guilty on one count in his 24 count federal corruption indictment in Chicago on August 17, 2010. Blagojevich was found guilty of lying to federal agents, but the judge said he intended to declare a mistrial on the other 23 more serious counts.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

A few days ago, we looked at the really bad story Time put out on female priests. It was just a bad story, no way around it. It had spelling errors, usage errors, inaccuracies and factual errors. It used weasel words. It managed to not find a single proponent of the historic Christian position despite being over 1,200 words long. So we weren't the only folks who thought the article was problematic. Over at Beliefnet, Deacon's Bench blogger Greg Kandra said that the article was disappointing from his perspective as a member of the Catholic clergy. But from his perspective as a journalist, it was embarrassing. He articulated some of those concerns -- paying particular attention to her failure to include people who support the Catholic teaching on women as priests -- and said he'd like to hear from a Time editor about how this piece made it through editing.

An editor didn't respond but the article's author Dawn Reiss did weigh in. Here's how she responded to her critics:

Hi. I'm the journalist who wrote the story you are discussing. As Votaire [sic] would say, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

For the record, I have more than a decade in the business and have covered a variety of topics from life in the slums of Cambodia to the trial of Rod Blagojevich and one of Maya Angelou's lone interviews in her home in Harlem.

I certain [sic] did do my due diligence as a journalist. The Vatican's recent statements about how ordaining women is on par with pedophile [sic] speak for themselves.

For the record, after I wrote, the second sentence you referred to, that Jacko is also "an ordained priest in the Roman Catholic Church," I say: "Officially, of course, the Catholic Church's canon law 1024 says that only baptized men can receive holy orders. But there is a movement against the no-women rule, one that began eight years ago when a cluster of renegade male clerics (including a European bishop whose identity the female priests won't reveal in order not to risk his excommunication) ordained the first women. Now, in Jacko's hometown of Chicago, three women have entered into the priesthood."

I encourage open commentary. I might add that the gospel today pointed to the story of Lazarus, about how everyone should be treated with respect, decency, and without hatred.

The defense, which begins and ends with non-sequiturs, is odd. I have no idea how Maya Angelou or Rod Blagojevich figure into whether she did a good job with this story. And I think she's trying to say that she didn't need to speak with anyone who favors Catholic doctrine because she quoted a Vatican document. That would be remarkably insufficient even if this wasn't the entire reference to that document: "the Vatican decreed in July that ordaining female priests was a 'grave' crime, on par with pedophilia." No, I'm not joking. And I'm not sure how Lazarus applies to Kandra's critique, which is fair, calm and comes from someone who spent 26 years at CBS News.

In fact, the response is so weak that it actually surprises me. The critique is straight-forward and seemingly easy to understand. Her response indicates either that she doesn't care or doesn't understand what people were complaining about. I'm not sure which one is more troubling.

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