My three favorite programs Church Militant has ever done are the 'One True Faith' series, the 'Case Files' series by Simon Rafe and the old 'Download' show.
Last summer the Download went off the air and didn't come back until yesterday because CM was doing extensive construction and remodeling work. I couldn't wait to have The Download back.
I was so very disappointed when I tuned in because The Download I loved was gone. What it was replaced by had none of the charm of the original. We had original Coke and what CM gave us yesterday was New Coke- from the comments on CM's website and their Youtube Channel I wasn't alone in my feelings.
I'm not only sad for myself but also for the people at CM because I know they all worked so hard and they were excited about what they were doing. Everyone wanted it to be great, but its not.
I didn't like anything about the new Download. I hated it and I want to talk about why I hated it today.
I am a news hound. I watch too many hours of secular news every day. I watch local news, Fox News, MSNBC and even some CNN to hear what everyone is saying about what is happening in the world.
When I tune into Church Militant the last thing I want is to be brought back to secular news. I want something above that. I want something steeped in Catholicism. I want not only what I hear to draw me into my Faith, I want what I see to do the same. I want to be pulled out of the secular world and planted firmly back into the Catholic world. The way a beautiful old Catholic church rich in stained glass and art is always worlds above a modern church that has nothing visual to offer its people. Church Militant's The Download used to do that for me.
I want to start with the music. Oh how I miss the old music! The old show used to begin at 1 pm so I would typically go to CM about 10 minutes before the show and listen to their music leading up to the show. During this time I would make my tea, read some mail etc, always keeping my ear to the music playing because that spoke to me. I knew exactly when the show would start because the music changed. I would put down the mail, grab my mug of tea and settle in to watch The Download just as Christine Niles would appear on screen giving me the Catholic news headlines. I adored my ritual and getting the news headlines from Christine before we all settled in to a one topic discussion on The Download.
You might think I am being dramatic, but I miss that. This was an important part of my day, a daily ritual for me that I have truly missed. Yesterday I was so happy to get back to my ritual I couldn't wait for 1:30 pm (new time slot) to get here. I was crushed when the music was gone. I had been missing that...more than I knew. It never occurred to me that CM would change the music leading up to the show and I was terribly disappointed because my ritual was ruined and gone. Then the show appeared and I was heartbroken.
CM's The Download used to be filmed inside their "Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Studio" complete with the spectacular large St. Michael statue and the soothing colors of blues and purples - to me and others who also mentioned this in CM's comments, Mary and Jesus colors. The tone and feel was not at all like mainstream secular media and that was a very good thing. The table CM's hosts sat behind was inviting and calming. It was like they were sitting across the table from me, talking to me about a Catholic topic-one topic so the discussion was in depth and I learned from it. Even if the topic was tragic, the people and the setting were calming to me-we were in this together-sort of thing. I was engaged, charmed and I wanted the discussion to go on for hours while I drank my tea. Most days when the show ended I would get a refill of my tea and watch the show all over again. This was my must see show every day and I am completely heartbroken its gone.
|The Download January 14, 2019|
The new studio that the people at Church Militant refer to as "the pit" is not charming, it's off putting.
|The Download January 14, 2020|
The Download went from an inviting room where I felt welcome to sit down and join in, to a vast warehouse stuffed with wires, blaring lights, distracting secular media screens and a ticker. The tiny bar stool type table is the same one shown on MSNBC! And I hate it.
They went from Catholic to secular. I am stunned. I honestly can't believe CM did this. I can't believe no one at CM saw the problems with this.
As one person commented on CM's Download yesterday, there is no way Michael is going to dance on the new table like he did election night in 2016.
And the problems aren't just the visual and music, its the content too. The greatness of the one topic Download's of the past where one topic is discussed in depth has been tossed out the window and replaced by multiple topics mentioned in passing because time is ticking. No deep discussions, no thoughtful reflections because there is no time for those things anymore.
They've morphed the Download into a sort of 30 minute evening news show and it stinks. I'm all for CM doing that sort of thing if they want to, but it should have been done with Christine Niles' headline news, not The Download show.
I can't say enough how very disappointed I am with everything CM has done. I miss the old music, I miss the Fulton Sheen studio, I miss the long in depth discussions, I miss Simon Rafe, I miss having four people at the table rather than three on bar stools.
Church Militant made some huge unfortunate mistakes this time. I pray and truly hope they ditch "the pit" and bring back the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen studio we all loved so much.
Chalk it up as a mistake and return to what people fell in love with about the show. You don't need to fix what ain't broken. Ditch the New Coke and please, please give us back old Coke!
I'm praying CM listens to their supporters.
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Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner