In the pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times, an M.D. from California, Michael Franzblau, paid for two full page ads raising the question, “Why Does Gannet publish Anti-Catholic and Anti-Semitic Material?”
The ad shows a cartoon ridiculing Bishop Gumbleton and the Sacrament of Reconciliation (an ad that the league previously objected to) and a column scoring Dr. Franzblau as a “vindictive” man obsessed with punishing people believed to be Nazis (Franzblau is Jewish).
Gannett runs a huge chain of newspapers across the nation. The league, while not charging Gannett with being anti-Catholic, nonetheless supported the general thrust of Dr. Franzblau’s concerns. In a letter to the CEO of Gannett, John Curley, the league appealed to Curley’s “sense of fairness and goodwill” by urging him to discontinue the publication of any “anti-Catholic” or “anti-Semitic” material.
The response from Gannett was not defensive but it was not entirely satisfactory, either. Essentially, what Gannett said was that neither of the two items cited in the ad reflected “our corporate viewpoint.” We hope not. We also hope that Gannett learned something from this exchange.