Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Mark Driscoll shows us the hat and not the cattle, part 2: Driscoll takes on editorial duties and plugs his journalistic credentials in the wake of the Mefferd interview

After so much time spent making fun of bloggers, belittling bloggers, and lamenting that bloggers are the sorts of people who may be middle-aged jobless guys blogging from their mama's basements, all of a sudden Mark Driscoll has seen the light and wants to advise bloggers how to write better blog posts.  The actual advice Driscoll gives is neither here nor there, it's the announcement near the lead that is interesting.

I’ve taken on editorial duties at Resurgence, at least for a season. This means I’m reviewing nearly every blog article before we post it and giving content feedback in an effort to help our writers get their message out even further.

So Driscoll has decided to take on editorial duties at The Resurgence, "at least for a season" because ... ?  Because there's no better time than in the weeks after Janet Mefferd has recently alleged that Mark Driscoll is a plagiarist for Mark Driscoll to decide to do prior review and editorial work on the blog posts of other people who write for The Resurgence?  The timing seems a bit weird.   Driscoll goes on to clarify his credentials in professional journalism again.

While we're on the subject of Resurgence and The Resurgence here's a recent blog post about it being a for-profit company.  Moving along ... Driscoll writes:

I don’t pretend to be the world’s greatest writer. But I did start writing professionally as a journalist in high school, paid my way through high school and college writing articles and editing my college newspaper, got a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the top-notch Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, and have written blogs and articles for everyone from CNN to the Washington Post to Fox News.

So Driscoll started writing professionally as a journalist in high school.  Which paper?  Which articles?  Does The Daily Evergreen actually count as professional journalism? Who was Driscoll's editor or section editor? His advisor?  Perhaps his old high school paper has his articles archived somewhere for consultation and perhaps Justin Dean can go dig those up and post them all for our benefit?  The same could be said for the newspaper Driscoll mentioned editing during his stint at Washington State University, though he's never seemed to bother mentioning publications by name.

Driscoll also mentioned that he paid his way through high school and college writing articles. Paid for what?  Which publications published him?  School papers, whether in high school or college, are not in the habit of paying their writers, to put it mildly, so which publications were paying Mark Driscoll for the articles he said he's written.  Let's remember that while Mark Driscoll got his degree in speech communications Grace Driscoll (nee Martin) was getting her degree in public relations.  It would seem far more likely that Grace Driscoll had more income and career mobility in the early years of their relationship than Driscoll was going to have writing articles for publications he has not yet named. 

Driscoll was also editing the WSU newspaper, too, and got a BA from the top-notch, well, we all know that he keeps referring to the Edward R. Murrow school of communications. 

So let's fish about for an earlier time when Mark Driscoll leaned on his credentials as a professional journalist.

The trouble started with a Southern Baptist blogger . . . yes, you should have seen that one coming. Now, to be fair, the blogger quoted an anonymous “source.” And, we all know that almost everything bloggers say is true. But, when they have something as solid as an anonymous “source,” then you can rest assured that when Jesus talked about the truth over and over in John, this is precisely what he was referring to. I have a degree from Washington State’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and worked professionally as a journalist, and I can assure you that The Kerfuffle is a very serious matter to be taken with the utmost sobriety and propriety. In fact, one anonymous “source” I spoke to said that Watergate pales in comparison.
Ah, there's an example.  This looks like it was slightly more than a month before Mark and Grace Driscoll bought that million-dollar house in Woodway that has not-quite-so-recently been shuffled over to the Downs Family Trust.

But that wasn't the only time in 2012 Driscoll leaned on his background in communications.  There was of course this:

... I have a degree in communications from one of the top programs in the United States. So does my wife, Grace. We are used to reporters with agendas and selective editing of long interviews. Running into reporters with agendas and being selectively edited so that you are presented as someone that is perhaps not entirely accurate is the risk one takes when trying to get their message out through the media.

With the release of our book, Real Marriage, we have now done literally dozens of interviews with Christians and non-Christians. But the one that culminated in the forthcoming article was, in my opinion, the most disrespectful, adversarial, and subjective. As a result, we’ve since changed how we receive, process, and moderate media interviews.  ...

And yet, after all that, the November 21, 2013 interview with Janet Mefferd ended up happening anyway. 

Wenatchee The Hatchet has addressed the matter of Mark Driscoll waving his hat at us but not showing us the cattle before. The most that could be dredged up with a "Mark Driscoll" in the by-line associated with Washington State University that made it into any Google anything is this:!topic/alt.politics.homosexuality/_wIu7wH18SY

This is about the third time (or more) that Driscoll has leaned on the statement that he's worked professionially as a journalist and now the professional work goes back into high school and was how he paid his way.  Great, all the more reason to distribute as complete a portfolio of published work from that period as possible. 

Until then, we can rest assured knowing that Mark Driscoll is taking on editorial duties at Resurgence for a season because, after all, Mark Driscoll's professional journalistic experience is so formidable it's the big reason nobody, anywhere, should for a second have any reason to wonder about the reliability of Driscoll's fact-checking, source-citing, or capacity to properly assess the reliability of sources and ideas.

Oh ... wait ... .


Anonymous said...

"The timing seems a bit weird."

No. The timing is perfect.
The fix is in. He will blame any previous plagiarism on some underlings - a copy editor, publisher, intern. Of course that will be because he was preoccupied with the all-important "air war" and some minor details get unnoticed at that high "big picture" altitude.

So now, because of the obvious ineptitude of lower mortals, he will need to "insert" himself and throw some lower-rung "incompetents" under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Driscoll seems to have a VERY inflated view of the prestige of his alma mater.

- Caleb

Anonymous said...

Mark Driscoll has become an expert at the game of bate-and-switch[1]. “It's all about Jesus” as the screen moves down to cover the cross. I have never before or since been in a church where one man is so often seen, it is so very much all about Mark Driscoll.

I have never been in a church before or since which re-wrote the by laws every several months totally changing what being a member is. I was bated by “we will take care of you” as I was getting older with health problems but then the rug was drawn when I needed support. Bate-and-switch yet again!

What has become clear is that Mark Driscoll believes strongly that he can sell himself by proclaiming to possess what he does not have and cannot produce. He seems hopelessly addicted to the rush of succeeding at that basic deception. So no shock that what “Mark Driscoll wrote” is actually the work of others.

I think that the Janet Mefferd interview was most likely a “shot over the bow”.

The next shot will likely strike home.

[1] – – – – –
Bate-and-switch (from: pulled 12-3-2013)

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").

The intention of the bait-and-switch is to encourage purchases of substituted goods, making consumers satisfied with the available stock offered, as an alternative to a disappointment or inconvenience of acquiring no goods (or bait) at all, and reckoning on a seemingly partial recovery of sunk costs expended trying to obtain the bait. It suggests that the seller will not show the original product or service advertised but instead will demonstrate a more expensive product or a similar product with a higher margin.
– – – – –

Anonymous said...

"So now, because of the obvious ineptitude of lower mortals, he will need to 'insert' himself and throw some lower-rung 'incompetents' under the bus."

Along with Janet Mefferd, apparently.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

First anonymous, who says any of those people are still even at MH? The turn-over rate in the leadership culture since Sutton Turner took over for Jamie Munson's "kingly gifts" role is retty remarkable.

Everything about The Resurgence would be "air war". "Ground war" would be campuses, wouldn't it?

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Caleb, even if we grant the prestige of the alma mater it's neither here nor there when it comes down to Driscoll's career in journalism.

And by "journalism" Wenatchee means articles researched for some section besides the opinion/editorial page.

Anonymous said...

With the latest pronouncements from the Driscoll PR machinery in response to the confirmation of plagiarism issued by Intervarsity Press, it appears that the first comment on this thread from "Anonymous" may have been prophetic.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

You can't throw someone off the bus who isn't on the bus anymore, though, which is the case with the names that seem to be implied in the recent MHC statement as being partly responsible for the "citation error".