Hitting Below the Belt

April 2003

We thought you’d like to know that Crisis magazine is no longer accepting ads for the NEW OXFORD REVIEW in its pages.

Why?

We’ve placed 37 full-page ads in Crisis since 1993, and never has Crisis communicated to us any dissatisfaction with the content of our ads. However, in the September 2002 Crisis, the Senior Editor of Crisis, Brian Saint-Paul, wrote a major article that questioned the “journalistic integrity” of Michael Rose and his book Goodbye, Good Men, with specific reference to the book’s five pages on the American College of Louvain seminary in Belgium. Saint-Paul’s conclusion was this: “In short, Rose failed to do his research [in the five pages], and that failure has cast suspicion on his entire book [of 264 pages].”

Rose responded to Saint-Paul’s accusations in the December 2002 NEW OXFORD REVIEW, giving abundant evidence that he did indeed do his research.

Realizing the delicacy of the situation, the NOR sent an advance copy of our December issue to Deal W. Hudson, the Publisher and Editor of Crisis, with a cover letter saying this:

Dear Deal —

I have a sneaking suspicion that you won’t like the article by Michael Rose in the attached 12/02 NOR.

Two things: (1) I want to make it clear that I regard Crisis as an ally & hope it can remain that way. (2) Mr. Saint-Paul is most welcome to send us a letter to the editor defending himself (up to 1500 words).

All the best.

Faithfully,

Dale [Vree]

But instead of a reply from Saint-Paul, or even an acknowledgement of our cover letter, Crisis abruptly and without advance notice stopped running our ads.

As for the NOR, we enjoyed the debate — the vigorous sparring — between Saint-Paul and Rose. But when Crisis resorts to censoring our ads, that’s hitting below the belt. Both Crisis and the NOR are journals of ideas, but rejecting ads is not a very intellectual way of dealing with a disagreement about a mere five pages in a book — actually, it’s downright childish.

Were the article blasting Michael Rose in Crisis written by some freelance writer, that would be one thing. But no, this was an inside job. Saint-Paul is the Senior Editor of Crisis, the Number Two man on the masthead. Saint-Paul spent three months working on his article, and he has admitted that the job of going after Rose was assigned to him by Deal Hudson himself. Isn’t that strange!


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New Oxford Notes: April 2003

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