Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the Boston Globe’s self-report on employee cases of sexual misconduct:
The explosion of cases involving major public figures tied to sexual abuse and harassment has inspired some persons and organizations to probe their own sexual deeds. The latest to do so is the Boston Globe, the newspaper that exposed sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston.
What the Boston Globe‘s internal audit found, and how it reported it, will be addressed in a separate statement. We will have plenty to say about it. Of immediate interest is how the Boston media covered the Globe’s story.
Every undergraduate journalism student knows that when guilty persons or organizations decide to disclose bad news, they choose Friday evening to bleed the story. That’s what the Globe did on Friday: it conveniently waited until the workday ended—right before 6:00 p.m.—to release its online self-report story.
Every undergraduate journalism student also knows that the lowest newspaper circulation day is Saturday. That’s when the Globe conveniently published its self-report.
If this game isn’t insulting enough, consider that the newspaper got a big boost from most of its competitors: with few exceptions, they went mute, refusing to discuss the story.
The two Boston media outlets that did the best reporting on the Globe’s internal probe were CBS-TV and WEEI. The latter is interesting given that it is a sports radio network (Alex Reimer did a fine job covering the story). ABC-TV and New England Cable News (NECN) also reported on the investigation.
So where was NBC? Where was PBS? Where was Fox? Where were all the other major news outlets, most especially the Boston Herald?
Why did the national media—newspapers, wire services, broadcast television, cable television, the Internet—ignore this story?
Why are they covering for their competitors? Are they afraid of opening up this can of worms even further, bringing down some of their own? It sure seems as though they are finding solidarity in silence.
When it comes to priests, however, many in the Boston media—none is worse than the Globe—find solidarity trying to bring down the Church.
This is just one more reason why the media’s credibility is at an all-time low.