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Tuesday, April 19, 2011
New MRC Rule: Don't Report Priest Abuse Scandals During Lent
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center has decreed another restriction on coverage of Christians:  You can't mention Catholic priest abuse scandals during Lent.

In an April 15 NewsBusters post, Dave Pierre complains, "As Christians observe Holy Week and the anticipation of Easter, PBS' Frontline program will air another investigation into abuse by clergy of the Catholic Church." He does not offer a time when airing the show would be more appropriate.

Perhaps because, to him, there isn't one. He would rather it not air at all -- he complains that  the abuse being profiled is "from decades ago" and, besides, abuse of minors by Catholic priests is old news: "Frontline already aired a lengthy episode on the Catholic abuse narrative not that long ago."

Then, of course, Pierre raises the specter of anti-Catholic bias, even as he describes why the priest-abuse story is a compelling one and throwing Jews under the bus through an attempt at misdirection:

Indeed, Catholic priests terribly abused minors, and leaders failed to stop the awful harm. That is an undeniable truth. Nothing justifies such a wretched evil.

We must continue to demand justice and compassion for victims of clergy abuse. There is no doubt that the stories that will be heard on the program will be heart-wrenching and angering to hear.

However, media outlets like PBS have surpassed the point where they are merely reporting a story. They are using the scandals as a tool to single out and further tarnish the Church.

When will PBS’ Frontline investigate the massive child abuse and cover-ups happening today -- not decades ago -- in our nation's public schools? How about the recent cover-ups of abuse by Orthodox rabbis in New York City?

Or is only the Catholic Church a target?

Pierre has a stake in the issue: He's a Catholic apologist who has written a self-published book trying to downplay the scandals and -- in an apparent echo of the dubious assertions of the Catholic League's Bill Donohue --claiming that "the Catholic clergy scandal is not about 'pedophilia.'"

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EDT

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