In the June 13 airing of NBC’s “Dateline,” Jane Pauley interviewed Scott O’ Grady, the U.S. pilot who was recently rescued in Bosnia. In the course of the interview, the subject turned to religion. Here is how the exchange went:
Pauley: Do you believe in destiny?
O’Grady: Oh, definitely. I believe in God wholeheartedly. ‘Cause if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. If it wasn’t for God and, the miracle that…he basically blessed with me with, as far as being…
Pauley [OVERTALK] : God has long been Captain O’Grady’s co-pilot. A devout Roman Catholic, O’Grady made his confirmation at age thirteen, and unlike many of his peers never left the Church. [Emphasis added.]
Catholic League president William Donohue issued the following statement concerning Pauley’s comment:
“Pauley’s remark was a snide, gratuitous, editorial remark that reveals volumes about her approach to Catholicism. She would never say of a young black man that ‘unlike many of his peers he’s never been arrested,’ nor would she say of a young gay man that ‘unlike many of his peers he’s doesn’t have HIV.’
“Jimmy the Greek and Al Campaneris were thrown off the air for making remarks about blacks that many read as racist. For Pauley to survive this incident with impunity would be to sanction a double standard. Anti-Catholicism is no less an invidious form of bigotry than racism, and that is why I have written to Bob Wright, CEO of NBC, asking for disciplinary action against Pauley.”
The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends the right of Catholics–lay and clergy alike–to participate in American life without defamation or discrimination.