CNN OFFERS CLARIFICATION

Catalyst January/February Issue 2000

On December 15, on CNN’s “Showbiz Today,” CNN correspondent Gloria Hillard commented that the Catholic League had successfully killed the TV show, “Nothing Sacred.” She then said that “Protests, angry campaigns, and even death threats accompanied the opening of ‘Dogma.’” Next to speak was Kevin Smith, the writer/director of “Dogma.” He charged that “These are the people that point a finger at me and say I’m a heretic and I’m anti-God. Meanwhile, they’re writing these horribly slanderous things that also threaten violence.”

Incensed by the obvious implication that the Catholic League promotes violence, we immediately protested the link. Susan Fani, the league’s director of legal research, pressed the attorneys at CNN in Atlanta for a statement to be read on the air. CNN agreed. Here is what CNN anchor Jim Moret said on December 16:

“Yesterday, ‘Showbiz Today’ aired a report about religious themes in movies and television. A clarification: We did not intend the inference that the Catholic League made or supports any violence or death threats relating to any controversial films. We regret any misunderstanding.” The league was satisfied with this response.


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Written by Bill