On Monday my father canon lawyer Ed Peters was interviewed by Michael Chapman of Cybercast News on the eligibility of New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo to receive Communion.
Yesterday Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times picked up the story but, inexplicably, wrote “Dr. Peters declined a request for an interview” in the story.
Here’s my father’s version of what actually happened:
The Times cold-called me today about 10 minutes before I was scheduled to teach for two hours and then go to dinner on campus. I estimated I’d be gone about three hours. I said if they would send me some written questions (like Cybercast did) I would reply within 24 hours. When the reporter said he might need my answers sooner, and I said, well, send what you have and I can look at it more promptly, as I would be around this evening. We signed off ambiguous as to whether there would be any follow-up. No big deal, I thought. They either will follow-up, or they won’t. In fact, I worked in my office till after 9:30 tonight, but there was no follow-up phone call or email questions. And yet I find myself characterized as having “declined” an interveiw request!
So now I must wonder, exactly what does the New York Times thinks constitutes “declining an interview”? Besides, I guess, not dropping everything and answering questions whenever it’s convenient for the Times to pose them?
It seems reporters have a tendency of asking my father for an interview – and then deciding they don’t want to hear his answers. That’s what NCReporter did in January.
Anyway, if you actually wait for the response you’ve requested, my father does have quite a lot to say, as this patient reporter found out.