PHILLY INQUIRER HAS DIRTY HANDS

Catalyst January/February Issue 2012

In a recent column that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, columnist Monica Yant Kinney blasted the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

She was furious over the decision by Philadelphia prosecutors to depose Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua at the seminary where he lives instead of in court; the former Archbishop of Philadelphia was asked to testify on alleged priestly sexual abuse that occurred during his tenure. Bevilacqua is 88 and in poor health, but none of that mattered to Kinney: she wanted him dragged into court to put an end to “the church’s chilling culture of secrecy.”

So we began to wonder, just how transparent is the Inquirer when it comes to its own dirty laundry? All we did was put “Philadelphia Inquirer and fired reporter” in a Google search, and guess what popped up? Stories about Paul Davies, a columnist at the newspaper who was allegedly fired in 2011 after he offended the big boys at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Davies wrote a front-page piece (in the “Currents” section) on Sunday, March 6 that detailed what a taxpayer rip-off the financing of the Center was. On March 14, the Inquirer ran a letter by the chairman of the Center blasting the newspaper for scaring away business. Then a story appeared in the Metropolis maintaining that the Center axed a $400,000 to $500,000 advertisement campaign from the Inquirer in retaliation. That’s what led to Davies being dumped.

The Inquirer denies this account, but Davies says he was escorted out the door by his boss; he even threatened to sue. Why mention all this? Because the newspaper has never admitted to its readers why Davies left, and still maintains that it is “company policy not to discuss personnel matters relative to former employees.” How convenient. So much for transparency. Looks like there is a “chilling culture of secrecy” at the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Written by Bill