Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Don't Believe Everything You Read!

I am more than a bit annoyed. I was quoted in an article in USA Today (do I really want to create a link to this? -- here it is) [FYI: That article has since been "corrected"] about fake upside down Christmas Trees as saying " She doesn't want to put a damper on the holidays, but she suspects "there's something sinister, almost bad, about it....It's a pagan thing. If they thought about it, they wouldn't turn it upside down."

It makes it sound like I'm saying that the upside down tree is a pagan practice and I think that makes it sinister. I've been getting calls and emails about this quote all day, some from some very insulted pagan people. That's especially upsetting to me because I actually said that the original practice of celebrating around a tree at Christmas time was a pagan practice and that they held the tree in such high regard (it was a symbol of eternal life and it pointed to Heaven among other things) that they would never have turned it upside down!

The reporter who interviewed me seems to have had a bit of an agenda. He said to me that at the meeting where they discussed this idea he expressed the opinion that he thought it was kind of sinister looking and did I agree? He also used a fair bit of my time because I tried to be helpful and even looked something up in my book to help him create something that would be more "accurate." Oh, pitifully naive me.

I used to be a journalist and majored in Communications Media as an undergrad at Simmons College. I had a wonderful professor, Alden Poole, who made me believe that journalism was a high profession and only people with great integrity would enter it. That's a myth. Now it's all about the "sound bite", the quick hit. Heaven forbid, anyone should do some legitimate research. There's no time for that! And if it's not sensational enough, just forget about it.

Rant and rave....yuck, but that's how it is today.

10 comments:

Wendy said...

I came to your site from by following the link in the upside down Christmas tree article. I am pagan and was very irritated by the ignorance expressed in your comment. Before I fired off an email, I decided to visit your site, primarily to determine if you really were so narrow minded as the comment implied. If you were, making a comment would be pointless. I am glad to find out that you are not at all the person I was expecting to find. I find we actually have much in common. My own work (theabundantspirit.com) is similar to yours in healing and spritiual development.
I hope more people will take the time to investigate who you are before they fire off their irate blasts. The irresponsible journalist is really the one who should be roasted. Have you thought you putting up a link to his email address?

Anonymous said...

I, too, came to this site after reading the article about upside down Christmas trees. A link to this site is provided after your alleged quote. You've joined the ranks of the misquoted! You are in great company!

Look on the bright side: it brought me, and many, many others to your site.

Best wishes, and a future free of upside down trees.

~~Margery, Cambridge, MA

BTW: I think there IS something rather sinister about an upside down tree. It takes "artificial" to a new level.)

Stephen said...

Hey Sheryl,
Very scary was happened with the interview. Just try to roll with it the best you can.

ND Aldrich said...

Talk about upside-down...I ditto/echo wizardwoman's entry as to how I got here...thankfully (??) my suspicion of USA TODAY'S agenda was confirmed before I wrote and I hope that "journalist" - for his own good - is now hanging from a windy tree somewhere til he gets the wisdom he so sorely needs.

Sheryl said...

Thank you for caring enough to find my blog page and leave comments! I couldn't find Craig Wilson's email address but he does a "chat room" where people can send email comments at http://transcripts.usatoday.com/Chats/transcript.aspx?c=403

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that you are not the anti-Pagan advocate they made you out to be, but sorry that you were misquoted. The USA Today and Mr. Craig Wilson should be ashamed of themselves!

What's next? A USA Today headline that reads "Blood-sucking, baby stealing, devil worshiping pagans run rampant!" turns out to be a typo? C'mon!

Paul M. Richards - Washington DC
Proud member of the Pagan Community

...and it just looks silly, not sinister!

Anonymous said...

Oh! I just found it...

E-mail: cwilson@usatoday.com

Have fun everybody!

Paul in Washington DC

Anonymous said...

I read the article and to be honest I think you should all get over yourselves. And stop knocking journalism, which is a noble profession. You should try it. It's not that easy, especially when readers are so thin-skinned. I mean honestly. I've read alot by that reporter (I do not know him by the way) and he writes some excellent stories.

Anonymous said...

I read the article and to be honest I think you should all get over yourselves. And stop knocking journalism, which is a noble profession. You should try it. It's not that easy, especially when readers are so thin-skinned. I mean honestly. I've read alot by that reporter (I do not know him by the way) and he writes some excellent stories.

Ginny said...

Hi Sheryl,
well I am coming to your site from the article as well put for a different reason. I just recently posted a blog - brand new to this and still getting the hang of it, anyway the title of my blog is "Am I cursed by the upside down tree?"
We started hanging a tree upside down when my husband was dying more as a diversion from our reality at the time but we wonder if keeping that tradition has been the wrong thing to do - you can read my blog and let me know what you all think.
And, yes there is nothing worse than to be mis-quoted, makes you feel raped and that is not a good feeling.
In a strange way it was to your good as you got traffic to your site that you might not have.
Have a happy holiday no matter which way you tree is hanging!