Rod Dreher on the simplicity of Thinking All The Media Are Out to Get the Church
Isn’t blogging great? People can have arguments about stuff they never get to argue about anywhere else!
Rod Dreher writes:
I can think of several cases right now, sitting here at my computer, of newspapers and other media outlets declining to pursue priest sex abuse stories, even to this day, because clergy sex with kids is emphatically not a story most editors want to deal with. It’s ugly, and it’s very easy to open yourself up to charges of anti-Catholic bias. I myself was pulled off a story last summer at the New York Post, when I was finally starting to uncover some serious problems at a parish in the Bronx. I was told one day, without explanation, to find something else to write about. I have been told by two independent sources in a position to know that the Archdiocese of New York put a lot of pressure on the Post’s top brass to get me to back down. Contrary to what paranoid right-wing Catholics think, media bosses are really sensitive about this kind of thing. I’m not sure what kind of decision was made at the top level to get me off the story, but I am certain the people above me thought they were doing the right thing. Look, why do you think the Los Angeles Times, with the exception of columnist Steve Lopez, has been so derelict in its coverage of Mahony? Remember the leaked Mahony e-mail, which revealed that the Times’ religion reporter is in Mahony’s pocket (or at least that was Mahony’s impression)? When I was in Dallas, a network reporter told me she was ordered from the very top of her news division to stay away from the homosexual angle in her reporting. Last fall, an orthodox Catholic friend of mine was pleading with a friend of hers, another network reporter, to do something on this Church child-abuse scandal (the reporter had great information on a case, but was reluctant to pursue it). The reporter declined to, in the end, because in the reporter’s view, it wasn’t worth the hassle they would get from people calling the network anti-Catholic. It is certainly true that most secular reporters are woefully ignorant of Catholic teaching, and do have a bias against Catholicism, and Christianity in general. But in the matter of this sex scandal, the Boston Globe and other media have been a far greater friend to the faithful than the bishops, and most of the Catholic media.