More on What the Press Won’t Say
Meridian Talks with the Los Angeles Times
By Maurine Jensen Proctor
Last Friday, a long-awaited study was released detailing the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church and among the disturbing results was this: 81% of the victims were boys. To put it plainly, in overwhelming numbers the child abuse was homosexual men preying on boys. The only thing more surprising was how the elite press downplayed the fact-and this at a time when the question of same-sex “marriage” is before the public, which in fact will elevate homosexual relationships as normal and desirable throughout every institution of the nation, including public schools.
I wrote an article What the Press Won’t Say that we published Monday in Meridian where I referred to the initial coverage of this report by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. Referring to the L.A. Times, here’s what I said:
“The reporter for the Los Angeles Times must have been distracted by something out the window as he was writing, (I can’t think what else could have happened) because he forgot to mention the homosexual connection in his article. Not one word. Not a breath. Not a hint. He got all the numbers right 4,392 priests – 4% of all clerics.
“He remembered to take a dig at the conspiracy of secrecy from the church that surrounded this ugly problem for decades. In fact that was the gist of the article. He quoted Father Thomas J. Reese, editor of the weekly Catholic magazine in America, “It sends a message that the days of secrecy and cover-up are over.”
“That’s a good thing. Yet, what is hypocritical is that the Los Angeles Times article manifested its own galling brand of cover-up. The reporter engaged in his own conspiracy of secrecy. It’s called let’s not mention the homosexual connection. It’s a sort of let’s pretend that the Catholic Church somehow causes sexual abuse and leaves out that possibility-which happened a mere 81% of the time-that there was a homosexual connection.”
The Los Angeles Times Reponds
Meridian readers sent our article to the Los Angeles Times reporter, William Lobdell, who protested in an email to me, “I don’t mind criticism, but you took a number of whacks at me as a journalist that were factually inaccurate. In your critique of the Los Angeles Times coverage, you apparently were reading from a story that ran the day of the press conference and not the day after. In the next-day story, I mentioned up high the homosexual question and also ran a number of follow-up paragraphs later in the story. In our graphic, we chose to highlight the breakdown between abuse of boys (81%) and females.
“The first story was based on leaked information, etc. and no one tipped us off about the homosexual information.”
I think that’s a fair explanation for their first story-a common practice of rushing to print, trying to scoop others. Unfortunately, reading the L.A. Times second story doesn’t alleviate the concern. Having missed a key piece of information the first day, the next day the newspaper still brushed it aside as if the issue needed no exploration.
A Close Look at the Second Story
I detail this particular story only as an example of how the press refuses to look at a critical issue despite their protestations that they are fair and balanced on the issue of homosexuality. I could have used articles from the New York Times or many other opinion-shapers in print or broadcast as a type.
The L.A. Times’ second story was a major full-page piece, 45 paragraphs long, and here, they chose to take a local angle, noting that the national review investigating sexual abuse by Catholic priests had criticized Los Angeles’ Cardinal Roger M. Mahony for failing to turn over personnel documents. The focus of the article from every angle is a scathing report of how American bishops in general and Cardinal Mahony in particular had handled the sexual abuse of as many as 10,667 children over five decades.
But where, oh where, does Lobdell (or his fellow reporter Larry Stammer) explore the implications of the homosexuality that characterized these child molestations?
This study on the Catholic sex abuse problem is the first major study of its kind looking at an extended period of time on a major organization-and the findings are startling regarding homosexuality and child abuse. Surely this is newsworthy.
Lobdell wrote me and said, “Come on, Maurine… in the second story, we mentioned the concern about homosexuality on the front page (1 million plus readers), not as an aside but as an important finding (that’s why it’s in the sixth paragraph of a 45-paragraph story).”
Here’s how that “important finding” reads in the L.A. Times with its surrounding paragraphs:
“The inaction of those bishops who failed to protect their people from predators was . grievously sinful,” the report states. “Somehow, the ‘smoke of Satan’ was allowed to enter the church, and as a result the church itself has been deeply wounded.”
“The report also raised concerns about the role of homosexuality and celibacy in the scandal.
“But the panel, which included Washington, D.C., attorney Robert S. Bennett and former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, criticized by name only four of the 195 bishops who run U.S. dioceses.”
Oh, By the Way
Note how this “important finding” is couched almost as an aside. A sort of “oh by the way,” an intake of breath while we blast the bishops. With that less than thorough acknowledgment, the topic is dropped until paragraphs 41 and 42 (only for those readers with a great deal of time and patience).
There, implications of the startling finding about the homosexual aspect of the molestations are still left untouched. Instead, readers are told that at the Washington press conference, bishops and board review members avoided answering questions about whether homosexual priests should be allowed into the priesthood.
(I have a more basic question. Why do you suppose this sexual abuse was primarily homosexual in nature?)
The article quotes the review board’s report, “There are many chaste and holy homosexual priests who are faithful to their vows of celibacy,” it said. “However, we must call attention to the homosexual behavior that characterized the vast majority of the cases of abuse observed in recent decades.” Lobdell and Stammer summarize this to mean, “The report did not seek to blame gay priests for the crisis.” Whew. It’s good to know the perpetrators are not to blame.
So, that, along with a graph showing that 81% of the victims were boys, (as a reader you are to catch the implication of that) is how the venerable Los Angeles Times handled the study of the review board.
More Questions Need to be Asked
In the press where are the quotes from experts who have explored the linkage of homosexuality and pedophila? How many times greater was the chance that a homosexual priest would molest a child than his heterosexual counterpart? Is there something in the homosexual lifestyle that inclines some to pedophila? What does literature of the homosexual movement say? Why does the press only gauge the Catholic hierarchy and not the homosexual predator?
Are these questions untouched because the press is intimidated by the homosexual movement and its agenda? Certainly, anyone who breathes out a negative word about homosexuality is lambasted and demonized. Meridian knows this first hand. Is it as William McGowan suggested in Coloring the News, How Crusading for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism, that in championing the homosexual minority, the press is no longer neutral in its pursuit of fact? Undoubtedly. Too much evidence points in that direction.
William Lobdell wrote me, “There are tons of follow ups on the bishops’ report we’ll be doing, including the questions raised about the role of homosexuality in the priesthood. The bishops are launching a study on it as well, which will continue to make news for years to come.”
How that news is handled is worth watching. Silence on the implications of a matter this grave that impacts America’s children cannot be overlooked.
Even as the L.A. Times sidesteps the homosexual connection, it also reports that “the West Hollywood City Council took steps on Monday aimed at recognizing same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco and elsewhere and called upon the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to consider performing same-sex marriages in the county.” This is tantamount to encouraging homosexuality as a lifestyle.
We ought to understand what we are encouraging.
For a look at the social science connecting homosexuality and pedophila, see United Families “Guide to Family Issues: Sexual Orientation.” Check for a list of studies under the topic, “Child Abuse.”
Please let your local news outlets know that you expect candor in their discussion of issues regarding homosexuality.