Thursday, 20 February 2014

CNN and an Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching

Irony, anyone?
My piece for CNN on 'The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults' can be read here.

I am grateful to CNN for giving this mostly unemployed but passionate Catholic blogger and occasional writer the opportunity to write a piece for their religion and belief blog.

However, readers will be interested to know that CNN did not offer payment for my services. I was asked to write something and gave them 1,000 words. I'm not sure how long it took me, but it required a bit of thought and took me a good while to write. It was edited down to what it is now, but though I didn't write the piece for pecuniary reward, and its good that hopefully I have raised the profile of Catholic blogs as well as this one, I would like to give CNN a small introduction to Catholic Social Teaching.

There exist four sins crying out to vengeance. Along with sodomy, the oppression of the poor and wilful murder is the sin of denying just wages to the worker. I will concede that CNN never promised me a fee for my article, but it turns out that CNN did not see fit to do so because they do not pay for 'op-eds'. Now, many may say, 'Welcome to the world of journalism, my lad', however, I would posit that I was hired to write a piece, CNN are a gigantic global news network sitting on piles of cash and here am I, a mostly unemployed gent in Brighton, writing for a global multinational company with considerable wealth for free.

Multi-billionaire 'philanthropist', Ted Turner
Not only for my own sake, but for others who may be asked to write an 'op-ed' for CNN, I would suggest that with a company and brand so huge, with profits presumably so high and with such a global corporate brand, the 'policy' set by the chief editors of the corporation might consider paying budding writers for the time and effort they spend on writing for them.

Since then I have done a bit of digging and, as it turns out, CNN's is owned by Time Warner and remains a division of the Turner Broadcasting System, named after death-merchant, Ted Turner, a multi-billionnaire who enjoys pouring chunks of his vast riches into Planned Parenthood and other abortion-industry activities, while encouraging the peoples of the World to stop breeding and have only one or two children (he himself has five) in order to reduce the global population. So, the company was founded by a billionaire eugenicist who still retains considerable influence on the company.

And since I have discovered that CNN's founder, who wields, one can assume, a certain influence on the company, I have decided that in the unlikely event that they wish me to write another piece for them, I would rather not.

Like I say, its good to have my blogs profile and therefore the profile of other Catholic bloggers, priest and lay faithful, raised by a piece on CNN's religion and belief blog, and I'm sure such a privilege will boost the old CV, but exactly where do these enthusiasts for culture of death get off denying a goodwill payment to a mostly unemployed blogger who writes for free nearly all the time in order to spread the Holy Faith of Christ. 

If CNN have any sense of conscience regarding paying those who they hire just wages, something that Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition tells us God takes seriously, then instead of giving it to me, because 'it's just our policy, dude' perhaps their HR department can make a donation to a charity who genuinely care for expectant mothers and their unborn children, The Good Counsel Network who, with a little of Ted Turner's millions could really help a lot of women, families and children.

His Holiness Pope Francis may say some pretty insulting things at times to sections of the Catholic Church, but one thing I have noticed about Pope Francis is his concern that justice be done for workers in the global economy. Obviously, CNN isn't as interested in the message of Pope Francis as it at first appears. Pope Francis is the kind of chap who will make a sandwich for a Swiss guard and have the homeless round for tea. I really don't think Francis is CNN's cup of tea at all!

This one goes out to CNN...I guess this sense of decency in such matters isn't just a Catholic thing. It's an English thing as well...


Mike said...

Mgr Pope has some interesting comments on colourful language:
Such as 'brood of vipers', for a start.

Maureen Guiller said...

Surely you would have clarified payment at the time you agreed to write a piece for them, or did you just submit it unsolicited and hope they paid you? It's normal fur budding journalists to get accepted for op-ed pieces without getting paid, it's how you gain a CV and experience. To be honest, I don't think you have the ability to be concise necessary for to forge a career in journalism. I don't think CNN are guilty of anything, you can't blame them for your naivety!

The Bones said...

Dear Maureen

I am not accusing CNN of going back on their word.

I am saying that CNN are tight gits, who happen also to be minted.

The Bones said...

And, also, that the principle of paying someone for their work is not exempted by virtue of a particular trade - in this case, journalism.

Chloe said...

Maureen, he was ASKED to write it. Bones, why don't you write a novel? Or even a childrens story book. Your story telling is really good. And pretty please, can I illustrate it?


Delacruz said...

Welcome to the world of Catholic writers Laurence!

Lynda said...

I have to say that if people are prepared to get their opinion pieces circulated by CNN for no money, then I don't see anything wrong with it. Clearly many people are willing to write copy for no pay in turn for the opportunity to have their opinion piece widely publicised. It may lead to paid commissions.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

all the 'i have everythings' still want something for nothing - I guess that's how they got 'everything'.

congratulations on the piece, and speaking up for the Holy Father in the full glare of CiNN, and for the profile boost (tight gitness incorporated not withstanding) - all voices crying in the wilderness these days matter (not that they never did).

at least you know the Bishop of Rome can't get you fired.

Not That Guy said...

If you are asked to do something, and you agree to it, understanding the terms of the agreement, and then you complain about it later, then I'm not sure that's the fault of CNN. If anything, why air it out in public? It's probably best and just to contact whomever is responsible at CNN directly.

The Bones said...

I'm not complaining that 'I didn't get my money'.

I'm interested in a standard Catholic and universal principle that if you employ somebody's services, you pay them.

There is a subtle difference there.

It smacks of a lack of generosity from a very rich company.

Simon Platt said...

From CNN:

"The views expressed in this column belong to England."

Well, this Englishman is happy to own his share in them, more or less.

Incidentally, that was my first visit to the CNN website, and probably my last. I see that:

"The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories ... fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives."

"Faith angles of the stories..." Tells us a lot about CNN, that.

Also incidentally, I didn't spot an "ed" opposite your "op-ed". What does it mean to be or have an online "op-ed", anyway? Or is it just a mechanism for CNN to defraud, etc?

BJC said...


Some of your stuff is really good. If I were you I'd send it in to editors of Catholic papers and magazines, like the Herald, and see if they are willing to publish it. Let them edit it down. They are going to pass on a lot of stuff but every now and again I think you hit the nail right on the head.

Praying for your success.

Lynda said...

Hear, hear!

Lepanto said...

I think that I would have said, 'OK you don't pay for opinion so you cant' edit my opinions'. Well done, I hope that this is a small step towards a flourishing career. You have a gift.
PS Please publish the book and do remember your old pals when you are in the green room.

Physiocrat said...

You would probably do better writing for Al Jazeera.

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