On December 25, WCBS-TV aired a story about a menorah that was vandalized on Christmas Eve in Pearl River, New York. In the course of the story, reporter Lou Young mentioned that “the menorah shares the small park here with a nativity scene and a Christmas tree in a town that is heavily Irish Catholic.” He also said, “It is probably worth noting that there are a half-dozen bars within a hundred yards of this park. That by way of explanation, not an excuse.” He managed to also say, “Last month it was a statue of Jesus Christ in nearby Monsey that was knocked over and destroyed at St. Zita’s Convent there.”
William Donohue commented as follows to the news media:
“It’s those damn drunken Irish Catholics again. Every time they get bombed, their latent anti-Semitism surfaces. That is why Lou Young’s ‘explanation’ is so valuable—it puts the blame where it belongs without directly saying so. But what Lou failed to do was to tell us who lives in Monsey.
“Could anyone imagine a CBS affiliate airing a report that said, ‘The statue of Jesus Christ in Monsey that was knocked over and destroyed at St. Zita’s Convent took place in a town that is heavily Jewish’? Or one that said the town is ‘heavily African American,’ and then noted there are ‘a half-dozen crack houses within a hundred yards of the convent’? And to top it off, imagine closing the report saying, ‘That is by way of explanation, not an excuse.”
On December 29, William Donohue faxed a letter to Dianne Doctor, News Director at WCBS, with a copy to Lew Leone, VP and GM, asking for an explanation. He stressed, “I don’t want any excuses, just an explanation.”
On December 30, Dianne Doctor spoke with William Donohue and apologized for this news report. Donohue accepted the apology, and this settled the issue.