My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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In the interest of fairness

I am a regular reader and commenter on the Third Wave Agenda Blog. The blogger there, Jill Filipovic submitted her column in her campus paper as one of her blog articles. This is the February 16 column.

Some excerpts:

Decades later, Feldt was president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America - and one of my personal heroes.

In a speech last night at Columbia University, Feldt - who just resigned from Planned Parenthood - taught me a new phrase: Fight forward. "When I say fight forward, I mean that it's too late to fight back," she said. "Defense never works as well as a good offense."

Last year, legislators in New York state were trying to mandate that emergency contraception be on hand in all hospital emergency rooms so that rape survivors could have immediate access to it. The bill reached a deadlocked state Assembly. The man in charge of introducing it was strongly antichoice, and had declared that he would not support it. One of his constituents sent him an e-mail which said, "You and I are the same age. We have the same number of children. We are both Catholic. In fact, I sit behind you at Mass. But I was raped. I took emergency contraception, and it gave me great peace of mind to know that I wouldn't have to suffer the double trauma of waiting to find out if I was pregnant. Please pass this bill." He changed his mind. The bill passed.

Some of you may also know the initials PMC. PMC is a regular commenter on JCecil's blog, Open Book, and others around St. Blog's and the blogosphere. His comments are insightful, conservative and he offers challenging dialogue to the liberal perspective

PMC recently made some comments on the Third Wave Agenda blog regarding Jill's column.

PMC: BTW, what's the source for your anecdote about the man in charge of introducing NYS Assembly legislation, whose position on "emergency contraception" suddenly melted as a result of a single e-mail? It doesn't pass the smell test. The Assembly is run with an iron hand by Sheldon Silver. Virtually nothing happens there with his say so. He ain't pro-life. And I doubt that he attends Mass. He's an Orthodox Jew.

Oof. I should have written that virtually nothing happens in the Assembly withOUT Shelly Silver's imprimatur.

And then later after no response he asks again:

Jill, I'm still wondering about the anecdote included in your WSN column -- the one about the Catholic NYS Assemblyman whose position on "emergency contraception" shifted, allegedly as the result of an e-mail from a constituent and fellow parishioner.

I've Googled and can't find any reference to such a person. As a Catholic and a New Yorker, I'm skeptical. I'm not contending that you made this story up, but I think you probably have got some facts wrong.

What's your basis for that anecdote, and which Assemblyman are you referring to?

Jill responded:
PMC, the anecdote is from Gloria Feldt's book, The War on Choice.
The reason that the Assemblyman and the sexual assault survivor isn't named is, as far as I can tell, an issue of personal privacy. Saying the legislation passed "last year" was incorrect. I wrote the column at 11pm the night before it was published. I'm planning on running a correction on the date in my next column space.

As for the anecdote being untrue, though, I'm going to take Feldt's published, fact-checked word for it. Sorry you can't find it in a Google search -- that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. She also told the story in her Columbia speech, which is how I learned about it in the first place. As president of PPFA, Feldt was privy to a lot of information that journalists and others simply aren't. In prefacing the story, I said something to the effect of "Some [of these stories] are Feldt's, some are infamous, and some are mine." This one was Feldt's, and I relayed it honestly and accurately as it was told to me, and as it was printed in her book.

After that, every one of PMCs comments were deleted from Jill's blog. She offers more defense and an unnamed source from her paper also backs up their procedures, but PMC is silence.

PMC e-mailed me and for completeness sake, and with his permission, I am letting his perspective be heard here.

You probably missed my post that set off Jill. I caught her flat-out lying about the source of her anecdote about the Catholic pol. She kept claiming that patently suspicious story came from Gloria Feldt's screed, The War On Choice, which she claimed to have read the night she wrote her idiotic newspaper column. Well, it was easy enough for me to skim Feldt's book during my lunch hour at the local Barnes & Noble. I found the reference in a couple of minutes. Jill was lying. There's a similar anecdote in the book, but Jill got the most basic facts wrong and added others to increase the story's drama. After she kept digging herself deeper into a hole on the blog, I called her on it and listed all the differences between Feldt's story and Jill's column.

She freaked out and deleted that post as well as my 3 or 4 previous ones on the same topic, and banned me.

Jill does correct the year of the anecdote here:

While she grudgingly admitted (at my prodding) that the legislative vote didn't occur "last year" and didn't occur in the NYS Assembly, she didn't acknowledge the more creative details in her column. Contrary to her column's assertion, the NYS Senate wasn't "deadlocked" over the bill, so the pol in question didn't cast a deciding vote, as she implies. (In fact, the bill passed the NYS Senate unanimously.) She also has no basis for claiming that the pol in question was "in charge of introducing" the bill. She also completely invented the direct quote (which she placed within quotation marks) from the e-mail.

So, she "sexed up" the story (as the Brits would say) that was in Feldt's book, making it more compelling and dramatic to enhance the point of her column -- that women must "tell their stories.' But the most egregious of her journalistic sins was not that, in my estimation, but in covering up her creative writing and steadfastly refusing to issue a correction. And she has the nerve to call Dawn Eden a "shoddy" journalist. She's not fit to spell-check Dawn's stuff.

Jill on Dawn Eden here.

Good for PMC for checking the story out and for persisting in pushing for the truth. If we are going to tell "stories" let's make sure we're telling the truth too!

I find Jill's handling of this criticism simply amazing. Rather than censoring and BANNING PMC from her blog, it would have gone a long way towards her own credibility as a journalist to thank him in finding the errors and then making ALL of the appropriate corrections.

Further, last month Jill stated that she was against censorship on her blog! She explains why here.

Not to censor

The comments I asked her to delete, which were totally off topic, full of ad hominem attacks, and were just simply out of control... she refused to delete. You can find those here.

comments not deleted here.

So while I admire Jill's youth and enthusiasm, in my view she has failed to act responsibly in these two instances in my opinion.

Please feel free to leave a comment under the posting, or sign my Spiritbook (guestbook). You can chat with me on the tag board to the right!