The May 25 edition of Billboard, the music newsweekly, carried a piece by editor-in-chief Timothy White that congratulated Irish singer Sinead O’Connor for ripping up a picture of the pope on “Saturday Night Live” in 1992; O’Connor declared, “Fight the real enemy.”
In reference to the current scandal in the Catholic Church, White cheered O’Connor by stating “it would appear with each passing day that Sinead O’Connor has less and less to apologize for.” The rest of the article condemned the Catholic Church for being intolerant, misogynist and fascistic. It even managed to cite Galileo.
The June 8 Billboard continued with its condemnatory remarks of the Catholic Church, this time allowing those in the entertainment industry to attack the Church in its letters section. Brian Philips, senior vice president and general manager of Country Music Television, praised White for his “sensitive treatment of the issue.” Bob Leon, projects director of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, recalled his years in Catholic schools as being ones of “dread, anxiety and nausea”; he also said he remembers being whacked with a ruler. Sinead O’Connor wrote to convey her thanks to White as well.
Our response, sent in the form of a news release, was as follows:
“Billboard is replete with articles on the music and television industry. One no more expects to read an article on Catholicism in Billboard—by either friend or foe—than one would expect Field and Stream to opine on Puerto Ricans. But Timothy White just can’t resist the opportunity to sucker punch. Just as revealing are his fat-cat buddies in the entertainment industry. They, too, experience orgasmic delight in bashing the Catholic Church, all the while crying over their bruised knuckles from yesteryear. There is a word in the English language for these guys—they’re called spoiled brats.”