FIEGER TAKES HIS CATHOLIC BASHING TO RADIO
Catalyst January/February Issue 1999
Geoffrey Fieger, Dr. Kevorkian’s former lawyer, has hit the radio talk-show circuit on WXYT-AM in Detroit. Having recently run an unsuccessful campaign for the Michigan gubernatorial post, Fieger railed against the Catholic Church in his show’s debut on November 30. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Fieger said Catholic archdiocesan spokesman Ned McGrath’s recent statements were enough ‘to remove the tax exemption’ of the church and that McGrath was ‘off in Spain, training on the rack,’ referring to the Spanish Inquisition.”
Catholic League president William Donohue offered the following comment:
“On September 29, I wrote to candidate Fieger asking him to repudiate his remark that Jesus was ‘some goofball that got nailed to a cross,’ as well as his statement that Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit was a ‘nut.’ On October 9, I received a letter from Stephen A. Hnat, senior policy advisor to Fieger, explaining that the ‘goofball’ comment was ‘a deliberate distortion by the Republican Party,’ and that the comment regarding Cardinal Maida ‘was clarified in an interview with a television station that he [Fieger] meant no offense to Catholics and that his choice of words [sic] were insensitive.’
“It is now obvious that Fieger’s previous record of Catholic bashing was never distorted by anyone and that his half-hearted apology to Cardinal Maida was dishonest. Having gotten trounced by Governor Engler, Fieger is showing his true colors once again: he has no need to run from charges of bigotry anymore—all he has to do is be himself.
“If Fieger thinks that Catholics who exercise their free speech rights should disqualify the Catholic Church from its tax exempt status, then he should sue the Church. But he should also be prepared to meet the Catholic League in court. We’d be only too happy to teach this lawyer the meaning of the First Amendment.”
To his credit, Fieger invited William Donohue to debate him on December 2, which he did. The debate proved to be a lively exchange and ended on a cordial note.