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Wednesday, November 16, 2011
WND, By Its Own Standards, Is A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Richard Bartholomew examines a Nov. 12 WorldNetDaily article by Art Moore on the anti-Muslim "Preserving Freedom Conference." Bartholomew highlights how, according to the article, a British anti-Muslim activist announced his confederation with a group called the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, whcih has expressed its support for the far-right British anti-Muslim group English Defence League and its leader, Tommy Robinson. The EDL has a unfortunate streak of racism and anti-Semitism among its membership.

In his article, Moore stated that the Tennessee Freedom Coalition was "the energy behind the conference." The conference itself was co-sponsored by WND, according to Moore.

That means, under the Aaron Klein model of guilt-by-association, WND is a bunch of racists and Jew-haters. Right?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:03 PM EST
CNS' Starr Back On Art Censorship Patrol

Penny Starr, it seems, is not done trying to censor art.

Starr, if you'll remember, was the lead instigator in the Media Research Center's efforts in trying to censor a gay-themed art exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, with particular focus on one particular piece -- a video by David Wojnarowicz which includes a few seconds of ants crawling on a crucifix.

That exhibit has now moved to a museum in Brooklyn, and Starr has resumed her censorious ways. A  Nov. 15 article by Starr highlights how "The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn told officials at the Brooklyn Museum that a video depicting Jesus Christ on a cross with ants crawling over him is 'disrespectful' to Christians and requested that it be removed."

Starr engages in selective and biased reporting throughout her article. Starr describes the exhibit as "gay erotic" without attribution, and  shedismisses the late Wojnarowicz as a "gay activist."

As she and the MRC frequently did during their manufactured controversy over the Smithsonian exhibit, Starr discusses only how the video "the video was offensive to Christians" and fails to mention the artist's intent with the images in his video. As more responsible and less biased news outlets have noted, Wojnarowicz grew up Catholic and frequently used Catholic imagery in his art, and his point in the video's depiction of the ants crawling over the crucifix -- made as he was dying of AIDS -- was to illustrate the ideas that God may be as indifferent to humans as humans are to ants and that we should love the small things of the planet as we hope to be loved by God.

But Starr doesn't care about art -- indeed, at one point she puts the word "art" in scare quotes to describe previous exhibits at the museum. She only wants to inflame and get her name out there as a right-wing crusader.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EST
Sheppard So Eager To Bash Media, He'll Side With A Convicted Felon
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 14 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard carries the headline: "Huffington Post So Eager to Support Pelosi They'll Even Defend Boehner." In it, Sheppard claims, "To give you an idea of the lengths the Huffington Post will go to defend liberal politicians those involved in the website revere, a front page piece on Monday took the side of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) in order to give cover to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)" regarding allegations of insider trading. Sheppard concludes, "Don't you love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning?"

Needless to say, Sheppard has indulged in the very same behavior he mocks in close proximity to said mocking.

Just four days earlier, Sheppard took the side of convicted felon Jack Abramoff. Why? Because he made someone on MSNBC look bad:

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell hopefully learned a valuable lesson Wednesday: when you invite someone on your show to discuss his new book, you might want to read it first.

As the Last Word host questioned convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff about his recently released memoir "Capitol Punishment," it quickly became obvious O'Donnell had no idea what was actually in the book he was holding up[.]


As it appears O'Donnell isn't inclined to read things about subjects he pretends to be expert in, it is by no means surprising he wasn't aware of any of this.

On the other hand, as a good Democrat operative, it's just as possible he was misrepresenting the truth and forgot he was talking to the man at the top of the scandal.

As MSNBC hosts rarely have anyone on their shows that don't completely agree with them, O'Donnell might be used to saying whatever he wants irrespective of the truth with total impunity.

One imagines Lawrence complaining to his producer after the show, "I told you to remind me whenever you've scheduled someone that isn't a liberal shill like I am."

Next time, heads will roll!

Of course, no heads will roll as a consequence of Sheppard's shoddy writing and double standards, no matter how many times he indulges in it or how odious the perpetrator he sides with -- so odious the only place willing to publish his rehabilitation memoir was WorldNetDaily, a "news" organization that seems to revel in odious behavior.

Don't you love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning? Well, you might like it better if it wasn't the foul stench Sheppard is emitting.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EST
Farah Finally -- And Ludicrously -- Comments on Cain Scandal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah appeared on the Nov. 14 edition of Sean Hannity's Fox News show, and he finally said something about the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal:

FARAH: From a journalistic perspective, there's nothing to report about the charges about Herman Cain. And that's the thing I think that everybody's missing.

HANNITY: I said that from day one. I agree with you.

FARAH: Look, there are people out there right now who make far more substantive charges, worse charges about Barack Obama, who claimed to have done all kinds of things with -- you wouldn't report that, Sean, I wouldn't report that, nobody in the media would report it. Why is it that we report this conjecture, this -- these unsubstantiated, uncorroborated charges? I think the real scandal here is a media scandal.

Really? This is Farah's "journalistic perspective"? What a joke.

Farah's sudden spasm of journalistic ethics when it comes to Cain runs counter to WND's normal way of doing business. WND publishes unsubstantiated and uncorroborated stories all the time, as indicated by the sheer number of anonymous sources that appear in WND articles.

And Farah's contention that the sexual harassment accusations against Cain are "nothing to report" is laughable considering WND's own warped and demented news judgement. (Defending stalkers, anyone?) It was just a few weeks ago WND determined that an ad buy by Cain on Rush Limbaugh's radio show merited a bylined "news" article.

Oh, and Farah wouldn't know a  "journalistic perspective" if it gave him a Masonic handshake. Farah declared he wasn't a journalist anymore, remember?

So, to sum up: Farah takes two weeks to comment on the Cain scandal, and when he finally does, he not only doesn't do it at his own website but says things that make one wonder about his honesty and basic competence.

It might have been better for Farah if he hadn't said anything at all, but mouthing off is sort of his job.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EST
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
CNS' Jeffrey Smears Michelle Obama With Deliberate Misquote

It seems Terry Jeffrey really does hate President Obama and his family more than he cares about fair and accurate journalism.

A Nov. 14 article by the CNS editor in chief carries the headline "Mrs. Obama: Let Them Eat Steak—And Arugula."

That, of course, is a contemptible lie -- Michelle Obama never said such a thing. The only quote that comes close is the statement by Obama, “My favorite, too. Arugula and steak. I like it a lot. That's good stuff.”

How Jeffrey twisted that in his mind to a libelous Marie Antoinette allusion -- a smear Jeffrey's fellow right-wing fellow travelers have promoted -- is perhaps best left to trained professionals in abnormal psychology. Jeffrey's Obama Derangement Syndrome is clearly reaching alarming levels.

Does Jeffrey even care about journalism anymore? Or is he so reckless and disconnected from reality that he will discredit CNS by turning into an anti-Obama screed sheet? At this point, the latter seems to be the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 8:59 PM EST
WND's Fraudulent Anti-Holder Petition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been begging its readers to sign a petition demanding that Congress "launch a serious and wide-ranging investigation into the multi-scandal-plagued Department of Justice and its leader, Attorney General Eric Holder." WND insists that the petition is "a virtual indictment of the Eric Holder-led Justice Department, itemizing a long string of corrupt, and sometimes blatantly illegal, policies." But the petition contains misleading or outright false claims about Holder and his Justice Department.

WND CLAIM: "the Obama DOJ is now using this same 'Fast and Furious' scandal – which has already cost lives on both sides of the border, including a U.S. Border Patrol agent – as a pretext for imposing draconian new gun-control regulations on law-abiding, federally licensed firearms dealers in the U.S."

THE FACTS: What are these so-called "draconian" restrictions? Requiring gun dealers in order states to alert the federal government when someone purchases more than two semi-automatic rifles in a five-day span, improving the federal background-check system simpler and faster, and tougher sentencing guidelines for straw buyers.

WND CLAIM: "under Obama, the DOJ's Civil Rights Division is hiring only lawyers that are far leftists – in blatant violation of federal law that prohibits the use of political or ideological affiliations to assess applicants for career attorney positions – as proven by a newly published analysis documenting that of the 106 lawyers hired in 10 different sections of the agency’s Civil Rights Division, every single one has a résumé filled with connections to far-left organizations."

THE FACTS: This is a rehash of a claim made by the right-wing Pajamas Media. It's an overblown claim -- what they're actually complaining about is that the Civil Rights Division hired people with experience handling civil rights cases. It's like complaining that DOJ's Tax Division is hiring too many tax lawyers.

WND CLAIM: "DOJ inexplicably abandoned its already-successful prosecution of the most outrageous case of voter intimidation in modern history perpetrated by nightstick-wielding thugs in the New Black Panther Party, causing at least one career DOJ attorney to resign in protest."

THE FACTS: The DOJ ethics office found that the department "did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment" in its handing of the New Black Panther case -- after all, the Bush administration had failed to take action in a similar case in which Latino voters were allegedly intimidated by whites. And the DOJ attorney who resigned in protest, right-wing activist J. Christian Adams, lacks credibility.

WND CLAIM: "the DOJ is refusing to enforce a landmark federal law Obama dislikes – the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and woman and prevents courts from using the Constitution's 'full faith and credit clause' to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states."

THE FACTS: That is false. DOJ will continue to enforce the law; it will, however, stop defending the law in court.

WND CLAIM: "to rectify alleged 'discrimination,' DOJ is requiring banks to lower their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit – a repeat of the same easy-lending cycle that led to today's catastrophic housing crisis."

THE FACTS: This is an apparent reference to a misleading claim by the right-wing Investor's Business Daily. In fact, DOJ settlements in these cases explicitly state that banks are not obligated to lend to unqualified individuals, only that they must begin providing services to minority communities they've allegedly ignored. Further, the claim that lending money to "minorities with poor credit" was a prime cause of "today's catastrophic housing crisis" is a discredited myth.

You'd think petitions should have some basis in fact, but that's not the case with WND's anti-Holder petition.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 PM EST
Noel Sheppard Slobbers All Over Ann Coulter
Topic: NewsBusters

Reading or listening (37 minutes!) to Noel Sheppard's fawning, slobbering interview of Ann Coulter, you feel compelled to take frequent breaks to wipe the drool off your computer screen.

Introducing the interview in a NewsBusters post, Sheppard calls Coulter a "treasured friend of the Media Research Center's [sic] and NewsBusters favorite." Sheppard begins the interview proper by saying, "I am pleased to be talking today with best-selling author Ann Coulter whose book 'Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America' has taken the country by storm just of course as all of her books do. Welcome, Ann."

A book that had a weaker debut than many of her previous book and is currently ranked at No. 972 at Amazon is hardly "taking the country by storm," Noel.

Despite Sheppard's frequent admonitions of media figures who conduct interviews in which they avoid asking certain touchy questions (well, more to the point, questions Sheppard wants asked), he was too busy slobbering over Coulter to contront her with certain inconveniently controversial statements she has made. For instance, despite spending a good portion of his fawning conversation talking about Herman Cain, Sheppard failed to note how Coulter's statement that "Liberals are terrified ... of strong, conservative, black men" flies in the face of the race-baiting she accuses liberals of engaging in, not to mention becoming overtaken by events when Cain's campaign accused Rick Perry's campaign of shopping the sexual-harassment story to the media.

Needless to say, Sheppard has denounced the very behavior he engaged in with Coulter. In an Oct. 24 post, he groused, "Is it possible for the press to gush and fawn over Barack Obama during this upcoming presidential campaign as much as they did in 2008?" And the very same day his interview was posted, Sheppard mocked some in the media for being a "disgraceful suck-up" to Obama.

Well, if anyone knows about being a disgraceful suck-up, it's Sheppard.

We were going to ask if Sheppard could find it within himself to live up to his own standards, but we were a bit too distracted by the slurping sounds during the Coulter interview.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:05 AM EST
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Media Matters deconstructs a Nov. 13 WorldNetDaily column by Gina Loudon and Dathan Paterno, in which they do some shoddy armchair analysis of Herman Cain and his accusers. Despite claiming to hold doctorates, Loudon and Paterno insist that Cain can't possibly be guilty of sexual harassment, while smearing one accuser by insisting that she "craves money, drama and attention" and that "her personality profile fits perfectly into the contrived victim/false accuser role."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EST
Monday, November 14, 2011
CNS Touts Dubious Pipeline Job Numbers

As part of's shilling for the oil industry, a Nov. 11 CNS article by Susan Jones repeats the claim that a proposed oil pipeline would "create 20,000 new jobs." Later in the article, Jones uncritically quotes the head of the company that is proposing the Keystone XL pipeline making more job promises:

"We remain confident Keystone XL will ultimately be approved," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer.  "This project is too important to the U.S. economy, the Canadian economy and the national interest of the United States for it not to proceed."

“Keystone XL is shovel-ready,” Girling said.  “TransCanada is poised to put 20,000 Americans to work to construct the pipeline - pipe fitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, the list goes on.  Local businesses along the pipeline route will benefit from the 118,000 spin-off jobs Keystone XL will create through increased business for local restaurants, hotels and suppliers. 

In fact, those job numbers are highly questionable. As Media Matters details, the TransCanada-funded study that generated those numbers uses an opaque and suspicious "person-years" job claim to come up with those figures. Meanwhile, others point out that TransCanada's job numbers are wildly inflated, claiming instead that the pipeline will generate no more than approximately 5,000 construction job and as few as 50 permanant jobs.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:39 PM EST
Newsmax Selectively Reports on Pelosi's Alleged Insider Trading, Ignores Republicans
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 13 Newsmax article repeats a claim from CBS' "60 Minutes" that "Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bought stock in initial public offerings (IPOs) that earned hefty returns while she had access to insider information that would have been illegal for an average citizen to trade with – even though it’s perfectly legal for elected officials."

The Newsmax article, however, made no mention of Republican members of Congress who allegedly engaged in similar behavior.

According to the "60 Minutes" transcript to which Newsmax links -- from which Newsmax excerpts only the Pelosi section -- the program examined the behavior of four Republicans:

  • Rep. Spencer Baucus, who during the 2008 financial crisis was "buying option funds that would go up in value if the market went down";
  • House Republican Leader John Boehner, who bought health insurance stocks after theso-called public option was removed from health care reform;
  • Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who owned land near a proposed highway for which he obtained a $207 million federal earmark; and
  • Sen. Judd Gregg, who helped steer nearly $70 million in government funds towards redeveloping a defunct Air Force base in which he and his brother both had a commercial interest.

Funny how that selective reporting works, isn't it?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EST
Noel Sheppard General Goofiness Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

If NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has any particular use, it's entertainment value -- between the cliched headlines (look, somebody's getting "schooled" again!), his constantly being shocked by the unshocking, and the aggressive unawareness of his own contradictions, comic relief seems to be the only reason the MRC not only keeps him around but gives him the title of NewsBusters "associate editor."

In a Nov. 13 post, Sheppard attacks conservative columnist Kathleen Parker for criticizing Newt Gingrich, putting "conservative" in scare quotes, declaring it an "absurdity" that she's considered a conservative, and ranting: "And that's the so-called conservative columnist CBS News brought on to discuss the Republican presidential race. Might as well have an Obama adviser there instead. At least then the viewer would know where her sympathies truly lied."

But literally an hour earlier, Sheppard was praising liberal-leaning TV host Chris Matthews for criticizing President Obama: "the man who used to get a thrill up his leg whenever a certain junior senator from Illinois spoke said that George W. Bush did a better job of using television to convey his message than the current White House resident has. ... What makes Matthews' point even more amazing is that no president has probably ever had as much assistance from the media in conveying his message as Obama."

So, to sum up: In Sheppard's world, Conservatives who don't unfailingly toe the right-wing line get Heathered and kicked out of the club. Liberals who deviate from the liberal line are to be praised and honored.

It's that sort of blatant hypocrisy that makes us love Sheppard so -- and even more because both he and the MRC seem to be completely oblivious to it.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 AM EST
Why Won't Farah Discuss Cain's Sexual Harassment Scandal?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been one of the top cheerleading teams for Herman Cain's presidential campaign, and WND editor Joseph Farah was the head cheerleader (as we've detailed). Allegations of sexual harassment against Cain, however, have had a dampening effect on WND's enthusiasm.

WND was rather slow to rush to Cain's defense. While WND columnists have ultimately reacted in the usual way, by floating conspiracy theories and attacking the victims, one voice has been conspicuously missing from the debate: Joseph Farah.

Since the scandal broke in late October, Farah has not mentioned the Cain scandal once in his weekday column. The only mention of Cain at all in a Farah column since the scandal is a passing refrence in a Nov. 7 column complaining about an tax audit he's supposedly facing, grousing again that President Obama accepted the monetary award of his Nobel Peace Prize in voluation of federal law, and that "If you or I or Herman Cain did that, believe me, there would be multiple federal investigations of our actions."

Here's what Farah has written about since Politico first broke the story of  Cain's sexual harassment on Oct. 31, in addition to the aforementioned audit:

  • Muslim-bashing
  • Occupy Wall Street-bashing
  • Immigrant-bashing
  • Grover Norquist-bashing
  • "Eligibility" (twice)
  • Defending the Electoral College (but curiously omitting the crucial fact that Republicans are the ones who are leading the current attack on it)
  • Complaining that Christian publisher Thomas Nelson was being bought by News Corp. (but curiously omitting the crucial fact that Thomas Nelson was WND's original partner in its book-publishing venture)
  • A defense of convicted felon Jack Abramoff, whose book WND has just published
  • A declaration that Americans need to be indoctrinated to his right-wing way of thinking, like a dog is trained.

But not a word about Cain's scandal. Why?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EST
Sunday, November 13, 2011
CNS' Jeffrey Still Trying, Failing To Force Kagan To Recuse (And Still Ignoring Clarence Thomas)

Terry Jeffrey's attempts to get Elena Kagan to recuse from Supreme Court deliberations on the constitutionality of health care reform have been a complete failure so far, but that's not stopping him from forwarding more specious arguments.

In a Nov. 10 article, Jeffrey makes a big deal out of a email Kagan -- then solicitor general -- sent to law professor Laurence Tribe upon the passage of health care reform in 2010, “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing.” Jeffrey tries to portray this as a reason to recuse, even as Jeffrey's email Q-and-A with Tribe asking about his correspondence with Kagan makes it clear Kagan expressed no opinion on the constitutionality of the health care law.

This was accompanied by another article in which Jeffrey notes that the Department of Justice is " refusing to comply with a request from the House Judiciary Committee to provide the committee with documents and witness interviews" regarding a separate action by House Republicans trying to get Kagan to recuse.

Needless to say, in neither of these articles does Jeffrey reference a more obvious Supreme Court conflict of interest on health care reform: Clarence Thomas' wife is a a right-wing activist who has attacked health care reform as unconstitutional. Thomas also failed to disclose his wife's income from activist groups for several years.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:34 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 13, 2011 4:37 PM EST
Bradlee Dean Claims Obama Is Corrupt, Offers No Evidence
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bradlee Dean is a very petty, narrow-minded man -- odd since he also proclaims himself to be an ordained minister (not to mention a heavy metal drummer").

He rants in a Nov. 11 WorldNetDaily column:

With today being Veterans Day I thought it appropriate to tell you that most recently I had a radio station manager approach me because I was calling out Obama's corruption on the air. He admitted that he knows President Obama is "un-American, reckless, ignorant and even corrupt." And, of course, I agreed with him.

But then he went on to say, "He is still the president of the United States, and we need to honor him and his office as such."

I said, "Honor him as such? You've got to be out of your mind to think that I am going to honor any individual in any office that steps on the sacrifice of our veterans who ratified the Constitution of the United States with their blood." (Which, by the way, is the same Constitution those in office swear to uphold.)

When we tolerate corruption in government, then we dishonor the price veterans paid! I am in fact honoring the office of the president when I point out that which corrupts the office he holds. I will never honor any man or woman in office who disrespects the sacrifice of those who put him or her there. Never. And neither will anyone who is a true American patriot.

Dean offers no evidence to back up his claim that Obama is "un-American, reckless, ignorant and even corrupt."

Dean, if you'll recall, is the latest legal toy of sue-happy defamer Larry Klayman, who is squashing journalistic freedom on Dean's behalf by suing MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and the Minnesota Independent website over reporting Dean's anti-gay remarks.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EST
Saturday, November 12, 2011
MRC's Graham Declares Catholic Abuse Scandal Off Limits, Attacks Critic
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham uses a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post to concede that there has been a problem with sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church -- but followed that up by attacking the leader of a group that has criticized the abuse.

What set Graham off was a writer at CNN's website, Dan Gilgoff, who likened the sexual abuse scandal involving a former Penn State football coach to problems within the Catholic Church. Complaining that Gilgoff didn't quote anyone defending the church, Graham offered himself up as a spouter of pro-Catholic talking points:

Memo to Dan Gilgoff: You may call me and other Catholics at (703)683-9733 for comment when officials won't talk.  But you didn't want anyone to defend the church, or you might have made another phone call. I would tell you the Catholic priest scandal was much worse than a football coach scandal, because a football coach doesn't make solemn vows to God to shepherd souls with the deepest love and integrity. But to drag the church through the mud now is a gratuitous cheap shot.

So the church abuse scandal was horrible, but we're not allowed to talk about it anymore because it's old news? Odd for someone who works for an organization that has no problem bringing up decades-old political scandals, like Chappaquiddick or Bill Clinton's peccadilloes, at the drop of a hat.

Graham then went on a blame-the-victim tear, attacking Gilgoff as a "lazy anti-Catholic reporter" for quoting David Clohessy, head of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. That's reductio ad absurdum -- quoting a critic of the Catholic Church does not make one "anti-Catholic."

Graham turned this into an personal attack on Clohessy and "his own priest coverups within his own family," portraying Clohessy as a hypocrite by claiming that Clohessy "covered up for his own brother, Father Kevin Clohessy," who had been suspected of abuse.

In fact, Clohessy did not "cover up" for his brother; he merely gave his brother a heads-up when he learned that the allegations were about to go public. Clohessy had not previously discussed his brother's situation publicly because no public allegation had been made against him. Clohessy's situation was also much more complicated than Graham tells it. From a 2002 New York Times article on Clohessy:

''From early on,'' David says, ''the raging debate within me was: he's my brother; he's an abuser. Do I treat him like my brother? Do I treat him like an abuser?'' Those conflicting loyalties never settled into any easy balance.

On one hand, he wanted to help Kevin, to tend to him. Like him, Kevin had once been vulnerable, and Kevin had also been scarred, maybe even more so, for all David knew. ''I knew the power a priest would have had over him -- a kid who single-mindedly wanted to be a priest from the time he was 7 or 8,'' David says, remembering that all during Kevin's childhood, ''he never traded those vestments for a toy gun.''

He understood that Kevin's actions might well be a manifestation -- a tortured echo -- of what had happened to him. By some estimates, perhaps half of adults who sexually abuse children were themselves molested, a figure that David says he believes is on the low end. In addition, Kevin's specific transgression, at least as Cox was informed of it and the diocese defined it, hovered at a murky intersection between a possibly repressed homosexuality, which was being channeled inappropriately, and outright molestation.

But to David, that was a distinction without a difference. ''My position,'' David says, ''is that clergy involved in sexual activity with parishioners is inherently abusive,'' because the relationship is one of intimate trust and unequal power. And what if there had been other young men, or boys, as the complaints to Cox suggested? What if Kevin was a present and future danger to the children who crossed his path? David says he felt he could not stay entirely quiet and had to confront Kevin, for those reasons and for others that, he admits, were selfish. ''It would have eaten away at me,'' David says. ''It would have gnawed and gnawed.'' In his countless hours of psychotherapy, David had come to believe that nothing could be as damaging as running away from the truth, and he did not want to run anymore.

It was even more complicated than that. David was in the process of trying to rebuild his relationships with his parents and siblings, from whom he had drifted further and further since his lawsuit. They wondered about his involvement with SNAP and worried about its implications for Kevin. For his part, David wished they were better able to grasp his pain and passion, a desire expressed by one of his recurring nightmares, which also hinted at how haunted he still was by the feeling that no one had been able to protect him in the first place. ''It was so transparent it was almost laughable,'' David says. ''I was walking through my family's old house, and my mom was ironing while my dad was watching TV or something. And Whiteley was walking right behind me. He had a big, long kitchen knife, and he was stabbing me. And each time it would hurt, but I wasn't saying anything, and he wasn't saying anything, and there was no blood, so no one would hear or see.''

David knew there would be less tension between him and his parents if he persuaded Kevin to divulge the details of his situation, and so he tried, over many months and many long phone conversations. ''I want to have a relationship with our parents and the rest of the family,'' he recalls telling Kevin, ''but here's my quandary: I can't do that and pretend I don't know what you've done. I can't sit across from you at Thanksgiving dinner and laugh and joke and pretend everything's hunky-dory.'' David says that Kevin begged for some time, and then for more time, while David kept pestering him.

Apparently, in Kevin's eyes, David was something of a zealot. Msgr. Mike Flanagan, a priest in the diocese who was friendly with Kevin, says that Kevin could not understand why David ''kept beating it into the ground, the whole thing. And his parents wanted to get over it.''

Graham quoted NewsBusters writer Dave Pierre for his attack on Clohessy. As we've noted, Pierre exhibits the same confusion that Graham does, admitting that abuse by Catholic priests was bad but also attacking Clohessy and SNAP for discussing it. Pierre has also declared that the media are no longer allowed to talk about the scandal, at least not without equivocating it by mentioning the "massive child abuse" in public schools or "by Orthodox rabbis in New York City."

Graham concluded by complaining that "Clohessy plainly told Time magazine their vision at SNAP is to get Pope Benedict in handcuffs and have him thrown in jail like an international war criminal." But isn't that roughly the MRC's vision, except for President Obama instead of the pope?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 AM EST

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