For folks with a direct line to God, the prayer warriors behind Rick Perry's rapidly approaching Houston prayer rally are some shitty communicators. Calls and emails to the event's leadership team go unanswered, messages go unreturned. If you do get someone on the phone, they can't get you off fast enough.
Yesterday I caught Alice Patterson, an author and the organization's church mobilizer, but she quickly referred me to event spokesman Eric Bearse, a former Perry aid. "Oh! I have another call coming in," she said, and hung up.
The folks at the International House of Prayer, the 24-hour worship center and "university" that has several staffers involved, say the same thing. When I asked to speak with founder IHOP Mike Bickle, who's quite confident the Second Coming is sometime this fiscal quarter or next, I was told he doesn't even have a phone extension. Neither does his secretary. I guess Jesus just emails his return-trip itinerary?
The problem with telling me to call Bearse is that he won't call me back either. Never has. As far as I can tell he talks to pretty much everyone else in the media, but not the Observer. So the other day, I emailed him:
He emailed me back late yesterday. Maybe he likes me after all!
I can go? Really? He must not know I'm a Jew. Or maybe he knows I'm a convert and sensed a challenge?
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Anyway, we were dialoguing. I felt a breakthrough coming.
This is what's called baiting. Very unprofessional. And ineffective! You do it when you've lost hope of a source calling you back or, more often, when you've been arguing with your wife about how to load the dishwasher. This time, it worked, presuming that the goal is ensuring never having access to the person in question.
He hasn't emailed back yet, but he will, I'm sure. Any minute now ...