One of the key ways to become a good apologist is to become familiar with those you disagree with. For example, if one wants to do apologetics against Protestants, you need to actually read their works. Reading a Catholic Answers tract and proclaiming yourself the next Karl Keating or Dave Armstrong is going to almost always end badly. Chances are you will fail so epically, you will actually set back the cause for defending the Catholic faith, at least in the heart of one individual who will see your comically bad performance.
Most people would understand this when dealing with our seperated brethren across the Tiber. Yet swap "Protestant" with "traditionalist" and suddenly all the rules change, and any attempt at due diligence is thrown out the window in mainstream Catholicism. When Catholic Answers apologist Patrick Coffin does a show about "radical traditionalism", he invites Tim Staples to discuss it. Tim Staples is a very brilliant man, but let's be real here: his only exposure to traditionalism is reading a couple blog posts. As a result, when they do their show, they royally anger not just the "radical" traditionalists, but the good traditionalists as well, those same individuals Mssgrs. Coffin and Staples praised as providing "heroic witness" to the Catholic faith. They even wrote a follow up article, expressing amazement at this fact. They spoke to their audience as Jane Goodall, seeking to educate them about the primate traditionalists. Jane Goodall at least spent time studying the primates.
Over the next few days, I'm going to outline why traditionalists were angry, and more importantly, why the efforts of the Catholic Answers apologists are bad not just for loyal traditionalists, but bad for people attempting to understand traditionalists, and to avoid those who would try to use the good in traditinoalism to justify opinions that the Church has said we cannot.