CNS Offer More Same-Day Service On Recycling Pro-Trump Talking Points Topic: CNSNews.com
Blanketing its website with the Republican talking point du jour acrossmultiplearticles is apparently CNSNews.com's raison d'etre these days. it did that again on Jan. 8.
First, under the headline "Trump: 'Iran Went on a Terror Spree Funded by the Money From the Deal' With Obama," Susan Jones uncritically transcribed how President Trump "recounted some of Iran's bad behavior, noting that its "hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion -- not to mention $1.8 billion in cash," quoting Trump as claiming that "Iran went on a terror spree funded by the money from the deal and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration."
The same day, under the headline "Sen. Cruz: Obama Administration Paid for the Missiles Fired at U.S. Bases Tuesday Night," Jones also uncritically transcribed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz saying that "In a very real sense, the missiles that we saw fired on U.S. servicemen and women tonight (Tuesday night in Iraq) were paid for by the billions that the Obama administration flooded the ayatollah with. And if history teaches anything, it's don't give billions of dollars to people who hate you and want to kill you."
But as we documented, that talking point lacks substantiation at best and is false at worst. There's no way to know if those missiles were paid for by money returned to Iran under the nuclear deal, and even if there was, it's not likely the money was used for that purpose because Iran had a missile program for years before the nuclear deal was signed.
But then, reporting facts isn't exactly CNS' prime directive these days; promoting pro-Trump talking points is.
NEW ARTICLE -- Slanties 2020: Once Upon A Time In ... Slantie-Land Topic: The ConWeb
It's awards season, so it's time to honor, as it were, the worst ConWeb reporting and craziest ConWeb opinions of the year. Read more >>
MRC Still Touting Media-Bashing From Discredited Reporter Lara Logan Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck gushed in a Jan. 8 post:
On Wednesday, our friends at the Daily Caller flagged a blistering appearance by former CBS News journalist host Lara Logan on Tuesday’s display of infatuation with the Iranian government and hatred for President Trump.
An exasperated host Laura Ingraham teed Logan up by stating how, in 2020, “[t]he liberal media [are] acting more like state-run TV at times than, you know, David Brinkley or any of the greats, like Peter Jennings” by “carrying the water for the Iranian regime” against Trump.
Now a Fox Nation host, Logan replied that “it’s kind of depressing” to hear how her colleagues have behaved “because that's not in my experience — I've been a journalist for more than 30 years, and I've honestly never seen anything like it.”
Interesting that Houck tells that Logan is a "former CBS News journalist" before he mentioned how she moved downmarket to being a "Fox Nation host." But it's not surprising that Houck doesn't tell his readers why Logan is a "former CBS News journalist."
As we documented when Logan resurfaced last year as an explicitly conservative commentator, Logan headed up a 2013 "60 Minutes" story on a security contractor hiding behind a pseudonym who had written a book claiming that he had witnessed the attack on U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. After the story aired, other journalists discovered that the contractor was nowhere near the Benghazi facility at the time of the attack and that a told a different account to the FBI.On top of that failure of reporting, Logan also failed even though the MRC despises CBS as a member of the so-called "liberal media," it entirely ignored the controversy -- perhaps because it knew all along that she was an ideological fellow traveler. To this day, the MRC's original post promoting Logan's segment remains live and uncorrected, and it never told readers the story was found to be false.
Now that Logan no longer has to pretend to be an objective journalist, the MRC loves her conservative anti-media rants even more though her credibility has been destroyed.
WND's Farah Returns For More Trump Sycophancy Topic: WorldNetDaily
Still in apparent recovery from his stroke, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is starting to ease back into column-writing. But as we noted the last time he popped up, he's even more a of Trump sycophant than before.
In a Jan. 13 column, Farah devoted a lot of space to accusing people who issued provocative tweets following President Trump's ordered killing of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani as suffering from "Trump Derangement Syndrome." He even highlighted one writer "from the right" (actually, the libertarian Reason magazine), adding, "Trump Derangement Syndrome – it comes from every angle."
Farah, of course, will not tell you how he has suffered from Obama Derangement Syndrome since 2008, with the low point being his aggressive promotion of birther conspiracy theories and simply straight-up lying about the president. He is essentially what he is complaining about, albeit from a different ideological viewpoint.
This kind of Trump sycophancy is an easy layup for Farah, even as he continues to recover from a severe medical event. But that's all it is.
MRC Keeps Its 'Fact-Checks' Partisan And Factually Deficient Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's war on fact-checking doesn't extend to its own alleged fact-checking, perhaps because it's so terrible. In a Jan. 8 post, Nicholas Fondacaro issued the familiar complaint that President Trump was once again fact-checked, this time after his claim that, in Fondacaro's telling, "the Obama administration handed over roughly $1.7 billion to Iran as a ransom for American hostages and said it helped Iran fund the attack" on a U.S. military base in Iraq after Trump directed the killing of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani:
In a fact-check, CNN dinged Trump for exaggerating the money amount by saying Obama’s nuclear deal freed up $150 billion in frozen, overseas Iranian assets. But even they admitted Obama once used the same figure and noted the real amount was reportedly between $50-60 billion. That’s a lot of money entering a cash-strapped country that’s known to fund terrorist organizations around the region.
CNN also did not attempt to fact-check how Iran spent the unfrozen funds. The fact is, Iran doesn’t do domestic spending. The Iranian regime puts much of its funding towards developing its ballistic missile and other weapons technologies, the Revolutionary Guard, and terrorist group activities.
Also, CNN’s fact-check did lie to readers in that it falsely claimed the $1.7 billion was “to settle a decades-old dispute over a purchase of never-delivered US military goods Iran made…” That’s where the money came from but not why it was delivered.
Fondacaro offered nothing to back up his "fact" that Iran "much of its funding towards" military activities -- perhaps because that isn't actually true. As actual fact-checkers have pointed out, the money was Iran's in the first place, intended to buy military equipment from the U.S. in the 1970s but canceled after Iran's Islamic revolution; the U.S. held onto Iran's $400 million, which accrued interest over the next few decades.
Not only is there no way to know whether Iran used the money the U.S. returned to it to specifically pay for the missiles fired on the Iraqi bases, it's unlikely that those missiles were paid for by Iran deal money. Former national sexurity adviser Susan Rice has pointed out that Iran had a ballistic missile program for several years before the nuclear deal was signed.
Instead, Foncacaro went on a tirade against Susan Rice over a separate TV appearance, calling her an "Obama-era liar" and ranting that she "lied to the American people about a YouTube video causing the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya." As usual, Fondacaro never proves Rice "lied"; in fact, she was simply repeating talking points supplied to her by the CIA.
Fondacaro even summarized the CNN fact-check wrong. Trump didn't say the Iran deal "freed up $150 billion in frozen, overseas Iranian assets" as Fondacaro claimed; he said that Iran was "given $150 billion." And that figure (which was indeed somewhere around $60 billion) was for unfrozen assets around the globe, not U.S. money given to Iran.
Fondacaro wasn't the only MRC writer to fall into derangement mode over Rice's reappearance. The same day, Tim Graham huffed that Rice "lied on five different network talk shows in 2012," then repeated Trump's falsehood in complaining that she was allowed to fact-chedk "the 150 billion dollars Obama gave to Iraq, declaring that "There is no doubt that Obama gave that money. Liberals are merely claiming we were giving the Iranians back their own seized assets from 1979."
Graham is clearly never going to admit that the "liberals" are being factually accurate.
CNS Still Promoting Dershowitz Without Mentioning His Epstein Ties Topic: CNSNews.com
We've noted how, like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com likes to quote Trump defender Alan Dershowitz without noting the fact that he's a former lawyer for convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and has been accused of having sex with one of Epstein's underage victims. CNS has continued its promotion of Dershowitz's arguments -- and stayed silent about his sleazy side gig.
On Dec. 9, managing editor Michael W. Chapman promoted how "Famed defense lawyer, constitutional scholar, and best selling author Alan Dershowitz said that through the impeachment inquiry House Democrats are acting like the KGB under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Evidence does not matter to them, he said, and like KGB henchman Laverntiy Beria, all they declare is 'show me the man,' President Trump, and we'll 'find you the crime.'" Ten days later, Craig Bannister transcribed Dershowitz's rant that "If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) withholds articles of impeachment from the Senate as a negotiating tactic, it would be both unconstitutional and destructive." (It's not, and it wasn't.)
When Dershowitz was named to Trump's defense teeam for the Senate impeachment trial, Bannister gushed on Jan. 17 that he was an "iconic liberal civil and human rights defense attorney" and highlighting that Dershowitz said that "even though he voted for Hillary Clinton for president, he is non-partisan regarding the Constitution."
The promotion baton was then handed to Susan Jones, who touted on Jan. 20 how Dershowitz "made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows to discuss his upcoming role in the Senate impeachment trial" and that his "mandate is to determine what is a constitutionally authorized criteria for impeachment."
None of these articles mention Dershowitz's ties to Epstein. By contrast, CNS has obsessed over minor, possibly unflattering details involving people it doesn't like, such as suddenly caring about what Pete Buttigieg's husband has to say and mentioning in two articles the utterly irrelevant fact that the two met on a dating app.
So, CNS clearly has an eye for detail -- except when that detail interferes with its pro-Trump agenda.
Newsmax Columnist Rants About Purported Poll Bias Topic: Newsmax
In his Jan. 6 Newsmax column, John Tantillo complains about "Democratic party bias in polls of how Americans view the impeachment issue, and Donald Trump" in an October Fox News poll showing a 52 percent of Americans favor President Trump's impeachment:
The poll cited that 48% of the sample were Democrats. But the electorate, according to Gallup, consists of 31% Democrats, 29% Republicans and 38% Independents.
It appears, that all — that’s right, all — of the polls cited in the venerable Real Clear Politics Poll (RCP) average have a bias of at least six points toward Democrats with Independents being underrepresented by at least two percentage points and always leaning more Democratic.
How can this be?
Well, it’s rather simple:
It appears that these esteemed pollsters may be basing their stratified poll sample on this Dec. 4, 2017, Gallup column "Democratic Party Maintains Edge in Party affiliation."
The only problem is that this is no longer the case.
In December’s Gallup Political Party Affiliation poll 28 percent are Democrats; 28 percent Republicans and 41 percent Independents.
TRantillo invoked a New York Post "analysis" of the Fox News poll that Newsmax itself devoted a "news" article to at the same time. But Tantillo linked to Gallup's affiliation poll history, which hasn't shown much change between 2017 and now. And contrary to Tantillo's claim and the Gallup affiliation polling, registered Democrats consistently outnumber registered Republicans, as the Pew Research Center points out:
Gold-standard, nonpartisan surveys have found for decades that more U.S. adults identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party than the Republican Party – whether these surveys take place under GOP or Democratic presidential administrations. That is the finding of two of the highest-quality surveys that use nationally representative data collected through in-person interviews: the General Social Survey and the American National Election Studies. It’s also the result obtained by numerous other reputable surveys that poll Americans by telephone or online using randomly selected samples of adults, including those done by us here at Pew Research Center, as well as those done by Gallup, Fox News, Kaiser Family Foundation and The Associated Press-NORC.
Because Tantillo doesn't understand how polls work, he decides to try and "unskew" the Fox poll results:
For those of us more conservatively analytical, a better metric to use describing public sentiment regarding impeachment is 46% (Take the poll’s 52% response and subtract from it the 6% Democratic oversampling error into account.) A more aggressive investigator would also consider the independent bias as well and then use a 40 percent benchmark — (46 percent minus the 6 percent oversampling against independents.)
In either case, both the 46 and 40 percentages are significantly different from the poll’s major headline of 52% favoring the removal of the president from office.
It seems that "all" those pollsters are correct and not their politically motivated critics.
MRC's Bozell Shows Double Standard Again On Presidential Credit for A Terrorist Leader's Death Topic: Media Research Center
An anonymously written Jan. 3 Media Research Center post states:
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on Varney and Co., Friday, to hammer the media’s response to the death of terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani. Regarding press outlets that have called him “ iconic” and “ revered,” an exasperated Bozell concluded, “The media refuse to award the United States the moral high ground in this existential fight between good and evil, this existential fight between those who believe in freedom and those who believe in terrorism.”
Regarding the drone strike that killed Soleimani, Bozell critiqued the media: “You just saw [Trump] take out one of the most vicious, horrific men on the planet Earth whose got the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands and they still can't unequivocally give this president, this commander-in-chief, the credit for putting an end to this man.”
This seems like a good time to remind people that Bozell refused to give President Obama credit for his role in the death of Osama bin Laden. As we documented, Bozell ranted that President George W. Bush deserved the credit "more than anyone" and even complained that a documentar about the killing of bin Laden might be released too close to the 2012 election because associating Obama with it might help him get re-elected.
If Bozell can ever stop being such a hard-right partisan long enough to give Obama proper credit for bin Laden's death, then maybe he has a right to speak out.
WND's Zumwalt Has Issues With (Non-Right-Wing) Women Topic: WorldNetDaily
Speaking at a private event in Singapore, Obama made a sexist comment, but, like other liberals given free rein to do so, it generated virtually no criticism from the left. He suggested if women ran every country, there would be less war and strife and much improved living standards. Stating women are "indisputably better" than men in leadership, he condemned old men in positions of power as the cause of world problems. He added that women are much more advanced and even-keeled than men and, as such, would reflect much greater wisdom in all they do. And, Obama incredulously believes, they would need only limited time to effect an impact, saying, "I'm absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything … living standards and outcomes."
One only wonders whether Obama's outlandish claim was made because Michelle told him to do so as, perhaps she considers a possible 2020 presidential run. She may not be content remaining, as she has described herself, our "Forever First Lady," feeling a need to add that of "Forever President" as well.
Before addressing the timing of Obama's claim, let us address its substance.
The bottom line concerning Obama's sexist claim is regardless of whether a nation's leadership is male or female, it is not the driver on peace and prosperity. The real driver is a leader's substance in doing the right thing at the right time and in the right interests of the people he or she represents.
But Obama's statement was off. Only days afterward, one of the darkest moments in our history occurred – led by a woman choosing to dishonor our republic and our Constitution purely in the interests of political activism. Pretending to give her impeachment sham against Trump an air of legitimacy, she wrapped herself in the flag the day the House voted, teaching her fellow Democrat representatives the words to the "Pledge of Allegiance."
While Obama touts the fair-mindedness of female leaders, Pelosi demonstrates she lacks any such gene within her DNA. Instead, she leads a group of coup plotters who are bound and determined to impeach a duly elected [resident, voted into office by almost 63 million Americans, because she and her cohorts disagree with his politics.
MRC's Double Standard on the Comedian Defense, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
We've noted how the Media Research Center gives conservative comedians a pass for saying offensiver things (perhaps because it's not offended by, say, rampant homophobia) that it would never give to a non-conservative comedian who offended the MRC's right-wing sensibilities.
Well, the MRC's Gabriel Hays had a meltdown over an obvious joke by George Lopez in a Jan. 6 post:
Trying to walk back his enthusiastic support for Iran’s $80 million bounty on Trump’s head, terminal TDS sufferer George Lopez claimed his comment that “we’ll do it for half” was just “a joke.”
Yeah, presidential assassination on behalf of an evil, anti-American government. All in good fun, eh?
Even with lefties in the media accusing Trump of possibly committing “war crimes” over his bombing of the leader of the Iranian Royal Guard Corps — a terrorist organization — Lopez’s unhinged joke stuck out like a sore thumb.
In his rage, Hays missed the obvious thing Lopez was riffing on: the trope that immigrants, typically Hispanics, are considered cheap labor.
By comparison, the MRC had little to say when right-wing gun activist Ted Nugent declared that he would be "dead or in jail" if Barack Obama won re-election in 2012. At the time, all it served up was Jeremiah Wright whataboutism even though Wright never threatened a president's life.
Then again, Hays' comedic tastes tend to lean toward transphobia, having already defended Ricky Gervais for it.
Susan Jones kicked off her lead story on December's employment figures with a little pro-Trump rah-rah from the man himself:
“As we begin this new year, our economy is booming,” President Trump told a rally in Toledo, Ohio Thursday night. “Wages are soaring, workers are thriving, and America’s future has never looked brighter.”
Friday brought more good news, as the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the number of employed Americans -- 158,803,000 -- set a 25th record under President Trump.
Year to year -- since December 2018 -- 1,858,000 more workers have been added to American payrolls.
In December, the number of unemployed Americans, 5,753,000, matched the Trump-era low set in September 2019. The unemployment rate remained at its 50-year low of 3.5 percent.
Jones later found a way to spin bad news into good news, admitting the 145,000 jobs created in December were below the previous numbers, adding that "after revisions for October and November, job gains have averaged 184,000 over the last 3 months.
Jones also excused the stagnant labor force participation rate by invoking the history of how the rate "has never been higher than 67.3 percent, a level achieved in the early months of 2000" and that "Economists say retiring baby boomers account for some of the decline since the turn of the century" -- something she rarely did when attacking President Obama for effectively the same trend.
The usual sidebars also appear, but with a dose of reality. Terry Jeffrey had to admit that the number of manufacturing jobs dropped in December and that the total yearly number was well below 2017 and 2018 figures. Craig Bannister conceded that the Hispanic unemployment rate didn't change as "both the number employed and the number unemployed fell from November’s level, as did the number participating in the labor force," though he did attempt some spin by claiming that "Fully 85% of Hispanics believe that their lives will get better in 2020 – topping the optimism of both Whites (79%) and Blacks (73%), a national USA Today/Suffolk University survey finds.
Melanie Arter, meanwhile, served up an article about how "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday downplayed news that the number of employed Americans reached a record-setting 158,803,000 in December, instead saying that the December jobs report 'caps a year of growing uncertainty' and 'surging costs of living for hard-working families.'"
Brent Bozell, Terrible Tweeter Topic: Media Research Center
We know that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is generally a terrible person -- after all, he had his syndicated column ghost-written for him for years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bozell is also bad at tweeting, writing things that his MRC writers would mock if he wasn't their boss.
In the midst of the impeachment hearings in November, Bozell responded to the testimony of Gordon Sondland, President Trump's ambassador to the European Union, Bozell harrumphed: "Listen to Sondland and you'll understand why America elected Donald Trump president to get rid of people like Sondland."
Many peopleinformed Bozell that not only did Trump had appoint Sondland to his ambassadorship, Sondand was a Republican bundler who donated $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee, swampy behavior that presumably helped him get that ambassadorship. The tweet eventually got so badly ratioed that Bozell deleted it.
A month later, Bozell did some legal blue-skying in asking the immortal question, "Is 'obstruction of justice' a bad thing?"
Bozell did not seem to understand that the self-evident answer to that question is "yes." After enough people told him so, ee similarly made that tweet disappear as well.
If Bozell serves up those kinds of pearls of wisdom when left to his own devices, perhaps it was a good thing that Tim Graham ghost-wrote all those columns of his.
Mychal Massie's Islamophobic (And Factually Deficient Anti-Clinton) Meltdown Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie kicked off his Jan. 6 WorldNetDaily column with a big Muslim-hating rant:
Sirhan Sirhan is the Palestinian Muslim who murdered Democrat senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in the Ambassador Hotel, in Los Angeles. We watched in horror as the footage was replayed. That was June 1968. At that time Muslims couldn't claim American injustice as their "lie du jour."
Let's dispense with the damnable lies that Muslims are a peaceful, loving people. Those who by accident display said characteristics are the exception, not the norm. Islam is a murderous cancer on the fabric of humanity, adherents of which have committed acts of barbarous terrorism since Ishmael.
It's easy to understand why anti-Semitic parasitoids like Ilhan Omar, AOC and Rashida Tlaib are upset that Qassem Soleimani was blown to Jahannam, the Islamic hell – even though that's where his kind belong and where he should have been sent many years ago.
When we hear Omar, AOC, Tlaib and the domestic terrorist group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), we understand they're mourning the extermination of parasitosis like Soleimani, because he's the equivalent of family to them.
Massie then launched an attack in President Clinton: "In factuality, the blood of the Americans who were murdered Sept. 11, 2001, is on the head and hands of Clinton. He was offered bin Laden on a silver platter, but he refused Sudanese President Bashir's offer to arrest, detain and hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States."
MRC Touts How A Film It Hated Tanked -- And Censored How A Film It Loved Tanked Even Harder Topic: Media Research Center
Like an ideologically driven Roger Ebert, the Media Research Center loves to attack movies that clash with its right-wing agenda, even mocking them if they fallshort in box office receipts. It also promotes the heck out of movies that conform to its ideology, then censors the fact that they tanked at the box office. It's done a little bit of both lately.
The MRC beat up on the film "Bombshell," about the sexual harassment scandal at the Roger Ailes-led Fox News. For instance, right-wing movie critic Christian Toto contributed a post with the clickbait headline "What ‘Bombshell’ Stars REALLY Think of Fox News, Conservatives," and Tim Graham and Brent Bozell complained that this movie exists and not a "ripped-from-the-headlines TV dramatization of Harvey Weinstein's predations (Graham went solo in a post complaining about this "anti-Fox News film").
The capper on this was a Jan. 3 post by Randy Hall gloating that "Bombshell" has been "a flop at the box office, dropping from 6th place to 9th during its second weekend in wide release," even though "the film stars such well-known actresses as Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, who portray former anchors Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, as well as Margot Robbie, whose role is as producer Kayla Pospisil, a 'composite character' based on several FNC employees." He highlighted the film's "two-week take as almost $16 million while costing $33 million to produce."
Hall went on to cite The Hill's conservative media critic Joe Concha, who argued that the film tanked because nobody wanted to watch a film about a "polarizing" media outlet made by an equally polarizing Hollywood. But he failed what Concha also said about a different film that was tanking even harder:
"Bombshell’s" poor showing comes as another media-themed movie is also struggling, in the form of "Richard Jewell." This Clint Eastwood film tells the story of the FBI and the media bungling the investigation into the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing in Atlanta and turning an innocent security guard, Jewell, into a prime suspect based on no evidence.
Box office since its December 13 release date: $16 million. Budget: $45 million
You might recall that the MRC loved "Richard Jewell," to the point that it effectively approved of Eastwood's false smearing of a real-life reporter by suggesting she slept with a source for story tips.
In his post, Hall linked to Box Office Mojo's box office take list for the final weekend of the year, but didn't mention that "Bombshell" grossed more money than "Richard Jewell" despite being on 1,000 fewer screens. And as of this writing, "Bombshell" has grossed more money than "Richard Jewell" despite never having as wide a release ("Bombshell" appeared on a maximum of 1,721 screens; "Richard Jewell" opened on 2,502 screens). Also, "Richard Jewell's" average daily per-screen take never topped $780, while "Bombshell" exceeded an average $1,000 take per screen on eight days.
"Bombshell" has been indisputably more popular than "Richard Jewell" -- by you'll never hear the MRC tell you that fact.
CNS Spoils Its Sympathy For Catholic Abuse Victims By Publishing Another Bill Donohue Column Topic: CNSNews.com
Around the time we caught CNSNews.com with clashing messages on the Catholic Church -- managing editor Michael W. Chapman repeating a bishop's claim that sex education is "CHILD ABUSE" vs. Bill Donohue's dismissing the severity of actual child abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy -- it suddenly got serious about the issue of sexual abuse in the church.
Chapman wrote in a Dec. 18 article about how "at least seven victims of clergy sexual abuse have filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court alleging that the Vatican and the Pope knew about many priests who were abusing young people but covered it up, shuffling the abusive priests around and ignoring the victims," adding: "Instances of bishops and pastors keeping silent about clerical sex abusers, not warning families or parishes, and constantly assigning (and reassigning) the abusers to youth ministries and youth sports programs are well-documented in the research of Dr. Leon Podles, author of Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church."
The next day, CNS published an op-ed by Janet Patterson, described in an editor's note as a Catholic woman "whose son Eric Patterson (1970-1999) reportedly was sexually abused multiple times by Rev. Robert K. Larson. Larson spent 5 years in jail for sexually abusing altar boys and died in 2014 at the age of 84; Eric Patterson died at age 29 after shooting himself in the head." Patterson wrote: "Let your diocese know how you feel about the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Be willing to support survivors in their difficult task of recovery. Hold diocesan church officials accountable for allowing perpetrators to continue molesting in parish after parish, excusing these actions by saying they received 'poor medical advice.'"
On Dec. 27, Chapman wrote about a report finding that "Since the 2018 release of a grand jury report on Catholic clergy sexual abuse, the dioceses of Pennsylvania have paid $84 million to 564 victims." He quoted Podles claiming that "unless American priests are uniquely sinful, there were something like 35,000 to 100,000 abusive priests worldwide with anywhere from 100,000 to 2,000,000 victims."
But CNS undid all that public service by publishing another column by Donohue attacking those trying to hold the Catholic Church accountable over the abuse. He complained that an article noted "pedophile priests," retorting: "Wrong. Most of the abusers were homosexuals. This is indisputable." Actually, as we've documented, the people who actually investigated the abuse found this quite disputable, and Donohue is being dishonest again.
Donohue then targeted the victims themselves:
The second error is saying that "victims and their families" were "intimidated or shamed into silence," which is why they signed confidentiality agreements. No doubt some were. But many insisted on confidentiality. Saul never mentions this. Nor does he mention the fact that unlike Hollywood molesters, the Church has had a ban on such agreements for many years.
Donohue concluded with his usual complaint:
Like many practicing Catholics, I contribute to my parish, as well as to my diocese. When my diocese is hit with a lawsuit for past cases of abuse—most of the molesting priests are either dead or out of ministry—I want justice done. That means reasonable compensation for victims. It does not mean breaking the bank.
Therefore, any legal tactic that the diocese can use to limit its liability, is entirely justified. Not to do so would be to punish those who are counting on diocesan funding today (many of whom are sick, disabled, or poor) so that lawyers can skim a third of the cash right off the top for old cases of abuse.
As usual, it is the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church alone, that is under the microscope of reporters. We know why.
Because the Catholic Church alone had a systematic, widespread campaign of protecting abusers?