Thursday, October 29, 2015

Qualifications Necessary To Be a Blogger

Blogs are essential to the well-informed and motivated Catholic. Therefore, it is important to know which blogs are edifying, while avoiding the gimcrack offerings of slipshod shysters. To this end, the Bear offers the following qualifications you should demand from anyone who seeks your valuable time and attention. If you follow the Bear's advice, you will avoid bloggers who are just sensationalistic click-prostitutes out to make a buck.

The kind of blogger you want must combine the following education and experience.

A blogger must be able to persuade people to follow the right course of action. Someone equally skilled in forensic debating and arguing before regular folks is required. To give an example of someone who should not be in Catholic media is a journalist. Journalists strive to maintain a detached objectivity. Is that who we're looking for in these dark days? No. We need advocates!

A good blogger should be able to sort out competing claims using a well-developed instinct. He should be able to employ relentless questioning to wring the truth out of unwilling witnesses. He must have a razor sharp intellect.

A good blogger, it goes without saying, should be more than a pretty face. In fact, good looks are definitely not a requirement, because, after all, this is not television! He should be capable of writing his own material, employing all the tools of the wordsmith: interview, narrative, analysis, and even humor and irony. He must be persuasive, even as he remains fair and accurate.

A good blogger is capable of doing his own tireless research. He must be able to put together the jigsaw puzzle of complicated situations, and determining the means, motives and opportunities of the various actors.

If you look at these qualifications, you'll see that there is really only one profession that should be allowed to blog:


The blogger must have a JD. Lawyers are even licensed, so you know they're legit. Are journalists licensed? No. Anybody can call himself a journalist and scribble for whoever will hire him.

But, still, something is missing. Not just any lawyer will do. Not even a good one. He must have an appeal that combines scary and cute.

When necessary, he should have the talent to employ the Old Razzle Dazzle. This requires extensive experience in secular show business:

It's all show business kid,
These trials, the whole world, show business.
But kid, you're workin' with a star, the biggest!

So, unless your blogger combines all of these qualifications, he's just in it for the money and should be avoided at all costs. 

Wait! The Bear just realized that only he fulfills all of these qualifications! He's a lawyer, licensed to practice; and his extensive career in criminal defense has honed all those required skills to a sharp edge. And, Bears are both scary and cute! Finally, he has many centuries of show business experience (granted, mostly unwilling), including the fabled Pablo Fanques' circus, where he became personal friends with the Hendersons. (They would always drop by with an extra fish. But the Bear wonders if they were really satisfying the Bear's appetite for the safety of Henry the Horse.)

And to top it off, he is award-winning. He received the New York City Bar Association's Committee on Military Justice's Award, and the Richard E. Cunningham Award: "In recognition of a career marked by extraordinary legal representation, compassionate concern for the welfare of capital clients and zealous advocacy in support of the constitutional precepts of due process and equal protection of the law."

Just think of it as an Emmy for defense lawyers.

And just to put a cherry on top of the Bear's love-me cake, he has experience in both print and radio journalism, including news director at a small market AOR FM station. Just because a station is small market doesn't mean you don't do all the things done in bigger markets. You still have to go out and cover crime, politics, and other beats, do your interviews, select your actualities, and produce your newscast. The Bear also did features for his local NPR affiliate, and even did some legal commentary in the form of essays which were picked up from one end of the state to the other.

The Bear is a half semester away from finishing his Radio-Television degree. (Something the Bear did after law school; the U.S. Navy called him up earlier than expected.)  

Not that journalism experience matters, of course.

Trust the Bear; when he set out to provide the qualifications of a blogger, the farthest thing from his mind was that he would end up as the only one in the entire world qualified to blog on Catholic affairs. This is truly an amazing coincidence.

Which makes it all the more important for you to consider joining the Bear's readers who make donations. If a large percentage of the Bear's readers tossed a couple of bucks into the Bear's tin cup every time they really liked a story, that would add up. And the Bear always appreciates the bigger donations. (Someone just made a recurring $10 donation, which just happens to be the price of a Premium Membership at CMTV!)

And remember, all the Bear's content is free.


Note: it does seem that lawyers are over-represented in Catholic blogdom. But that's besides the point. It seems unnecessary, but the Bear has learned how easily people are offended. This is a lampoon of Michael Voris making the case that only those with both an academic background in theology plus extensive secular experience in journalism were qualified to participate in Catholic media. 

Are lawyers really better suited than journalists? The Bear thinks they both have good skill sets. As for theology, trial lawyers have to become "mini-experts" on topics at issue. The Bear has had to master forensic odontology, dentistry, fingerprint analysis, DNA, "Shaken Baby Syndrome," and all manner of brain injuries and other trauma, fMRIs, blood spatter analysis, false confession, psychopathy and other mental illnesses plus hundreds of other matters normally the domain of experts. By "master," the Bear means know enough to effectively examine expert witnesses, including those (hostile witnesses) put on by the opposing side. Also, the Bear had to know enough to explain it in a way a jury could understand it. That's the real test. Lawyers will know exactly what the Bear means. 

While he concedes it might be a plus, the Bear does not believe some degree in theology to be the sine qua non of Catholic media. The Bear took masters level courses in theology, and concluded that much of what he was being taught shaded away from orthodoxy.

To be serious, the Bear thinks there are wonderful bloggers with all sorts of experience. Sometimes, a particular blogger's qualifications will make him (or her) ideal to comment on a particular issue. Pete, at Et Cum Spiritu Tuo is an economist, for example. It is ludicrous and arrogant to presume to dictate who can participate in a volunteer effort of free speech. This is an example of why the Bear has been keeping an eye on Michael Voris lately. That was a very odd episode, and the Bear wonders what's going on.

For the record, the Bear does not dislike Mr. Voris, and remembers his premium programming to be mostly worth the $10 a month the Bear was paying. The Bear coudn't tell you why he stopped watching, except it lacked organization and seemed a bit overwhelming. To someone else, that might be a treasure trove.

The Vortex, however, is another matter. It seems to have a fundamental flaw that the Bear has discussed elsewhere, and he is certain everyone is tired of his discussion of these issues, anyway.


  1. Good post. Thank you for the mention. I concede to having worked with lawyers for years. That must be why I think I'm as good as any lawyer blogger. Composing analyses for legal purposes has been very good training for general writing and analytical skills. ;^D

  2. Geez Louise - and who has the qualifications to be a "commentor"? I know nothing! (said in Sgt Schulz dialect) This is getting a little dicey here, don't you think? - as I just read an article about Bisp. Barron defending Ross Douthat's right to opine in the NY Times about the synod, even though he doesn't have a degree in Theology. To me, the defense sounded condescending, but whatever. It is starting to sound like the old story about how Catholics don't read the Bible because they can't properly interpret it without the Church. (and that wasn't the reason was it? It was because back then, not alot of people could read...or had their own Bible?....)
    Well, anyway Bear, yours is one of the few I "signed up" for because, though I might not be smart, I can recognize the intelligence and genuinous of yourself. That is a gift God gave me and I am grateful for it.
    ....and you make me a good way.

  3. Bear seeks and speaks the Bare truth with style. Keep up the good work. And in appreciation I am signing up for a recurring donation with savings by no longer contributing to CMTV.

    1. The Bear thanks you, although you'll understand if he doesn't endorse a "Rob Micheal to pay the Bear" appeal ;-) whatever the woodland creatures wish to do spontaneously to assist -- and that's truly what it is -- the Bear, is entirely up to them. Note: PayPal does not like recurring donations to the Bear for some reason, and it's not on this end, they say. If you are sufficiently motivated, you might have to give PayPal a call. Sorry for the inconvenience. All donations are truly appreciated from both a material and morale sense. Happy Bears are productive and entertaining Bears! And the Bear is working hard getting his store ready for early Christmas shopping, too. Three separate lines with more different items than you can shake a stick at.


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