As we've documented, the Media Research Center has been lashing out at the TV networks for failure to "correctly" cover -- by which it means uncritically promoting -- the lawsuit by Catholic groups against the Obama administration regarding the contraception mandate. Now it appears that the MRC will throw other religions under the bus to promote its pro-Catholic agenda.
In a May 24 NewsBusters post, MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham takes offense to covering a Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Philadelphia instead of the lawsuit, adding: "While CBS highlights the Catholic sex-abuse allegations in Philadelphia, it’s ignoring the Jewish sex-abuse story in its own hometown."
Huh? What does that have to do with anything? But Graham has decided that it has. After quoting from a New York Times story about a Brooklyn prosecutor facing "intense scrutiny for his handling of sexual abuse cases in the politically powerful ultra-Orthodox Jewish community," Graham adds: "Sex-abuse charges in the Catholic Church are deadly serious, but aren't they in all religions? Aren't they in public schools? But Pelley was singling out the Catholics, spreading across the nation the prosecutors comparing the Catholic Church in Philadelphia to the Nazis during World War II[.]"
But a national network news program is not supposed to cover "hometown" news -- it's supposed to cover stories of national interest. And since Catholics are 23.9% of the American population, it's a story that a large number of Americans are interested in. By comparison, only 1.7% of the U.S. population are Jews, and ultra-orthodox Judaism is a small subset of that.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that NewsBusters has invoked the ultra-orthodox sex abuse scandal to deflect attention from Catholic scandals:
- In April, Dave Pierre complained about a PBS "Frontline" program about the Catholic scandal, retorting: "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?
- Pierre returned in December to attack the New York Times for allegedly ignoring how "85 accused child predators have been arrested in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community," while "The Times has never been shy about trumpeting cases involving allegations of abuse by Catholic priests decades ago."
It's more than a little unbecoming for Graham and Pierre to invoke Jewish scandals to deflect from Catholic scandals.