Quoted out of context

Quoted out of context

Recall the comments made by Father Jim Wehner of the Pittsburgh diocesan serminary who in an interview about barring gays from the seminary had apparently said that “you can have some young man who has too much to drink and engages in perversions he never would otherwise. That doesn’t mean he’s gay.”

Well, enterprising blogger Funky Dung contacted the spokesman for the diocese and eventually talked with Wehner. Now, Wehner doesn’t want his actual replies to Funky published, but invites anyone who’s concerned about it to contact him directly.

The short version is that Funky Dung is now convinced that Wehner was quoted out of context and, he says, when he thought he was no longer being questioned for the record. There’s a lesson there for anyone who talks to the press. Unless you explicitly say something is off the record or only on background, then it can be quoted. I nearly got caught on that one a few times. The reporter doesn’t have your best interest at heart; he’s just looking for a juicy quote for his story, the more eye-catching the better. Watch what you say!

(Still, I’m curious what the context was that could mitigate the plain sense of those words. They’re still pretty outrageous. I’ve made clear that I disagree with their face meaning.)

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli