In the finale of the HBO show, “The Newsroom,” which aired December 14, there was an exchange between Will McAvoy, the anchor/news director (played by Jeff Daniels), and Charlie Skinner, the network president (played by Sam Waterston). They managed to drop Bill Donohue’s name.

The subject of discussion was Pope Benedict XVI. Skinner took McAvoy to task for going soft on the pope for his alleged easy treatment of predatory priests. He challenged McAvoy, wanting to know why he wasn’t tougher. Here is what followed:

Skinner: That’s inexplicable to me.

McAvoy: Bill Donohue

Skinner: Yeah, you don’t want the Catholic League mad at you.

McAvoy: Nobody does.

Bill replied as follows: “If the story is true, we don’t get mad at those who report on bad news about the Catholic Church. We just get mad when we’re cherry picked or when the bad news is embellished. Or when we’re gratuitously bashed by talking heads. Sort of like what often appears on the network news, broadcast prime time shows, late night talk shows, cable talk shows, newspapers, radio, movies, the Internet….”

Donohue wished HBO executives “Merry Christmas.” While he is not convinced that they have turned the page, he appreciates the fact that they know we mean business.

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