MORE “RED FLAGS”

Catalyst March Issue 1999

Catholic League members know that one of our pet-peeves is the selective identification of Catholic miscreants in the press. Here are some more gratuitous comments, all designed to wave red flags at readers.

Four Northwestern football players are implicated in a point-shaving scandal. An article about this appears in the Chicago Sun-Times; it is noted that one of the players is a “graduate of a Catholic high school.” Now how about that?

We wrote to the editor-in-chief, Nigel Wade, wondering why we learned nothing of the religious affiliation of the other players. We also wondered why this identification was worth noting in the first place. We’re glad to report that Wade said “the identification of a Catholic high school was random and should, I agree, have been removed in the editing process.” Many thanks to Martin Geraghty of Evanston, Illinois for the heads-up on this one.

Another red flag incident we noted occurred in an article called, “Gospel truth: Bible Week little noticed in Seattle,” printed in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In her article on this subject, columnist Susan Paynter mentioned the various positions of the mayor (he issued the Bible Week proclamation), his press secretary, assistant press secretary, some city council members, the spokesman for the ACLU and, curiously, a sex advice writer. Even more bizarre, we learn that the sexpert is a Catholic; no one else’s religion was identified. We are awaiting a response.

But to show how our members can reverse the tables, we bring to your attention Lorraine Russo of Tappan, New York. In January, Lorraine read a story in the New York Daily News about three firemen who tragically lost their lives. She noted that “not one single New York City paper mentioned that one of the firefighters was a former altar boy.” She asked “How come?” and provided a response: “They’re always so quick to report that little fact when it’s a thief or murderer.” Lorraine’s letter was printed in the Daily News.

We encourage all members to follow Lorraine’s lead.


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Written by Bill