MEDIA BLACKOUT OF SEX ABUSE AUDIT
Bill Donohue comments on media coverage of the 2012 Annual Report on priestly sexual abuse; the audit was done by StoneBridge Business Partners, and the data were gathered by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA):
The report on sexual abuse, part of an annual audit, is available on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Apparently, almost no one has read it. Not a single secular newspaper in the United States reported on it.
On May 10, I issued a news release saying that “since nearly 100 percent of our priests did not have a credible allegation made against them last year [there were six out of approximately 40,000 priests], this should be picked up by the media. But it won’t be. Look for the story to get buried.”
I was wrong—it wasn’t buried—it wasn’t covered at all. Aside from a few blog posts, and a piece by States News Service, that was it. Why did the newspapers ignore it altogether? Because the news was good news, that’s why. Had it been bad news—a spike in abuse cases—it would have been front-page news. But because CARA found “the fewest allegations and victims reported since the data collection for the annual reports began in 2004,” the story was deep-sixed.
There is bias by omission, as well as by commission. This is clearly a case of the former. Does it matter? Of course. By not telling the truth, the media help to feed the sick appetites of people like Bill Maher: on his May 10 HBO show, he took another shot at the Catholic Church, saying it welcomes “predators.” The titans at Time Warner (the parent company of HBO) obviously allow Maher to vent his bigotry, aided and abetted by newspapers which refuse to tell the truth. It’s a very sick nexus.