Returning suspense to the conventions

Returning suspense to the conventions

I’ve been hearing the media complain this week that political conventions have lost all their drama, that there’s no longer any suspense as deals are brokered in smoke-filled rooms to select the party’s nominee. By the time the convention rolls around, the suspense has been gone for months.

Well, who’s fault is that?

The way the media cover the campaigns, the nominee is all but selected after the New Hampshire primary. Talk about disenfranchisement: What about all those primary voters who didn’t get a chance to vote until March or later? By that time, their votes were less than meaningless. They were pointless. The only way to return">Catholic World Report, which we’re just putting to bed now, will contain an interview with Father Joseph Fessio, the chancellor of Ave Maria University, who responds to various controversies regarding the school.

He specifically mentions the dispute with some faculty and staff at Ave Maria College in Michigan over shutting down that school in favor of Ave Maria in Naples, Florida. And he also talks about the architectural design of the campus, specifically the oratory that some originally likened to a “hothouse chapel.” Evidently, the new design is vastly different, consisting of more traditional materials and architectural forms. I’ll let you all know when the issue is on newsstands or available online.

Oh yes, I should mention that Father Fessio is the publisher of CWR, but I don’t think that the interview contains any softball questions and that we don’t let him gloss over any of the controversies. I think Phil Lawler was able to pose some difficult questions and get some straightforward answers (perhaps even some that a PR guy or two wouldn’t like). Fr. Fessio has a reputation as a straight-shooter and I think it’s evident in this interview.

  • Whatever he says or doesn’t say, Fessio is a relative latecomer to the whole AMC/AMU situation. There was ongoing tension for several years before the move to Florida, as is evidenced by a letter from Dr Janet Smith posted on the Ave Parents website. A sidebar interview with her would have been nice, to say nothing of laying to rest any calls of “softballing.” In any case, I always loved CWR, and look forward to the piece.

  • Latecomer or not, he’s at the center of every controversy. I don’t think his late arrival has any bearing on how it is now.

    I’m not sure whether we were able to contact any of those on the other side of the issue or whether they were receptive to being interviewed.