The Catholic League attack on the Warner Bros. movie, Sleepers, garnered incredible media attention and received a warm reception on the part of journalists, reviewers and radio and TV talk show hosts.
The Catholic League’s press conference on the movie was a mob scene of reporters. The league contends that the movie, based on a book by that name, has no basis in fact and unfairly maligns Catholic institutions and priests. The reaction of the media was almost uniformly favorable to the Catholic League’s position.
Janet Maslin of the New York Times put it nicely when she wrote that while it’s possible that the story is true, “It’s also possible that Santa and the elves spend all year at the North Pole, making a list and checking it twice.”
A woman reporter from ABC-TV in New York caught up with author Lorenzo Carcaterra at his home and asked him about the charges. The author not only refused to answer any questions, he slammed his front door on the reporter. And when the media called the publisher of the book and the producers and directors of the movie to debate Dr. Donohue, they all said no.
The Catholic League took the issue a notch higher by asking S.I Newhouse, the president of Random House (the parent company of Ballantine Books, which published Sleepers) to conduct an independent investigation of this matter.