Monday, June 25, 2012

From Fox News to Vatican Press Officer...that's a career move?

By Nicole Winfield and Victor L. Simpson, The Associated Press, in Toronto Star, June 25, 2012 
VATICAN CITY—The Vatican has brought in the Fox News correspondent in Rome to help improve its communications strategy as it tries to cope with years of communications blunders and one of its most serious scandals in decades, officials said Saturday.
Greg Burke, 52, will leave Fox to become the senior communications adviser in the Vatican’s secretariat of state, the Vatican and Burke told The Associated Press.
“I’m a bit nervous but very excited. Let’s just say it’s a challenge,” Burke said in a phone interview.
He defined his job, which he said he had been offered twice before, as being along the lines of the White House senior communications adviser: “You’re shaping the message, you’re moulding the message, and you’re trying to make sure everyone remains on-message. And that’s tough.”
Burke, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement. Pope John Paul II’s longtime spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, was also a member of Opus Dei and was known for the papal access he enjoyed and his ability to craft the messages John Paul wanted to get out.
Now that's a career move that demonstrates a vaccuum of both theology and journalistic professionalism, having to wordsmith for two employers of the calibre of Fox News and the Vatican.
Is that analogous to moving from the deck of the Titanic to the Hindenburg?
Or, perhaps more appropriately, moving from the horse and buggy to only the horse, in the gallop into the past?
Whatever metaphor applies, Mr.Burke is not without both courage and perhaps a strong component of naivety. However, after working for Rupert Murdoch, one could have served a useful and appropriate apprenticeship in making the proverbial "outhouse" look, sound and smell like a "palace"....perhaps there are a few real estate markets in the U.S. that could use Mr. Burke's moxy....clearly it will take more than truth-telling to warrant holding the new post for longer than a few days or weeks.
Good luck!

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