SHOWCASING HATE SPEECH
Catalyst December Issue 2006
Every day, newspaper editors receive letters intended for publication. Ideally, these letters are thoughtful responses or additions to articles that previously ran. In reality, some are vile, hate-filled pieces that usually end up where they belong—in the garbage.
Of late, the Philadelphia Daily News showed its anti-Catholic stripes by printing a letter from a reader from Royersford, Pennsylvania. The rant read in its entirety: “Recently, I’ve read a number of articles reporting how the Catholic faith has been praying for the Amish community. Don’t the Amish have enough difficulties? Isn’t that arguably the equivalent of Charles Manson praying for Gandhi?”
Our concern was not with the bigot who wrote the piece: we are used to receiving hate mail and are never surprised at such content. Rather, we questioned why a reputable newspaper would publish such a blatant and unwarranted attack on the Catholic Church. Since the paper publishes the letters it receives at its discretion, we can only wonder whether the editors share the letter writer’s views. After all, the screed included no new information, rational arguments or insightful commentary for readers to appreciate. We put this question to the managing editor, Michael Days, asking as well if the paper would print a similar rant comparing Jews to Jack the Ripper or Islam to the Son of Sam.
We’ve let the newspaper know we’re onto its game, and you can to. Write to Michael Days at 400 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. Send him a message that Catholics aren’t going to buy his paper unless he cleans up its act.