Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell uses an April 12 Media Research Center press release to run to the defense of Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church, even though defense of Catholics is not exactly part of the MRC's mission statement. Bozell declared "declared the intentional disparaging and false reporting" on the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests to be an "atrocity" and adds:
Last week dozens of news outlets – including the Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post, New York Times, CBS, MSNBC – reported that the abuse scandal is 'widening.' That is absolutely and unequivocally false. The scandal isn't growing. As Catholic League President Bill Donohue aptly noted, citing evidence from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, abuse is shrinking in the United States, with an even more rapid decline over the last five years.
Any credible journalist would have done his or her research before reporting a fallacy of this magnitude. And any other religious institution that was targeted in this unconscionable fashion would have been rescued by the same liberal media that claims to be objective.
Bozell is deliberately twisting the meaning of the word "widening." None of the articles Bozell cited use the word to describe recent cases of abuse, as Bozell claims. Rather, they refer to revelations about old cases of abuse and what the pope, in his previous role as head of the Vatican's office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did or didn't do in regard to priests accused of abuse.
In touting the John Jay study as promoted by the Catholic League's Donohue, Bozell ignores the fact that Donohue has been misusing the study to falsely claim that most victims of sexual abuse by priests were "post-adolescent," which allows Donohue to blame the scandal on homosexual priests. In fact, one of the researchers on the John Jay study points out that same-sex abuse of children does not equal homosexual behavior.
So Donohue is not exactly the most "credible" defender. And neither is Bozell, who fails to disclose that he's on the Catholic League's board of advisors.