The obvious gap in that NYTimes report on sexual abuse

Almost a year ago, The New York Times launched a series of web-only video-and-text features called the Retro Report. The goal of these short documentaries is, apparently, to help readers by filling in the gaps on complex, ongoing stories. While these short features have been identified as “columns,” the content — at least to me [Read More...]

New bishop in Harrisburg: One story, one side, one problem

OK, gentle readers, once again I need to stress that the following post on a recent story in The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) focuses on a journalism issue in this story, not the tensions centering on the appointment of a particular Catholic bishop to a particular post in the American hierarchy. This post is also not [Read More...]

Hey NYTimes: Please study the timeline of abuse in Chicago

Back in my graduate-school days, I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, after spending a few years working at the local daily, The News-Gazette. I read the Chicago dailes, of course, during some glorious years of newspaper warfare in that great and wild city. Thus, I remember ripping my way way through the headlines [Read More...]

AP discerns what Vatican knew in Maciel scandal

While it’s certainly the function of a reporter to puzzle out the essence of a story based on the available evidence, there are occasions when journalists choose to act as if they have nearly paranormal abilities to discern things not immediate visible to the naked eye. This is called analysis or even editorializing. Consider the [Read More...]

LATimes asks some of the crucial Cardinal Mahony questions

If you were going to design a Catholic cardinal (as opposed to an Episcopal Church bishop) who would please the powers that be at The Los Angeles Times, that man would have to look a whole lot like Cardinal Roger Mahony. Obviously, Mahony never tossed out the basic doctrines of the Catholic faith. However, he [Read More...]

So, is Benedict XVI lying about motives for his retirement?

So let’s say that The Telegraph prints a story from its Rome bureau about the interesting new statements by Pope Benedict XVI about events surrounding his historic decision to retire. The top of the story, logically enough, starts with Benedict’s own point of view: “God told me to do it,” the 86-year-old former pontiff told [Read More...]

Solid Scottish abuse reporting from the Herald

I have written a number of articles acknowledging and bewailing the manifold sins and wickedness, which the press, from time to time, most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, in their reporting on the Catholic clergy abuse scandals. Bias, selective reporting of facts, hyperbole, one-sided sourcing, lack of context coupled with a mendacious [Read More...]

What do conservatives really think about Cardinal Mahony?

Yes, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles will be in Rome and will vote in the process to select the next pope. In fact, as part of his social-media campaign against his critics, he plans to tweet whenever and wherever Vatican officials will let him get his hands on a keyboard. Meanwhile, I am [Read More...]


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