On June 9, attorney Jeff Anderson released video clips from a May 23 deposition transcript of Archbishop Carlson. It was vintage Anderson: he misrepresented the truth. What the media did, led by the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was to echo the distortion.
The Post-Dispatch editorial said the following: “Mr. Anderson asked the archbishop if at the time , he knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child. ‘I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,’ Archbishop Carlson replied. ‘I understand today it is a crime.'” The editorial then hammered Carlson for his response.
What actually happened was quite different. The lead question in this exchange was never shown on the video clip. The question was: “Well, mandatory reporting laws went into effect across the nation in 1973, Archbishop.” At this point, Carlson’s lawyer, Charles Goldberg, interjected, “I’m going to object to the form of that question.” Anderson said he wanted to finish the question, and Goldberg agreed. Anderson then said to Carlson, “And you knew at all times, while a priest, having been ordained in 1970, it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid. You knew that right?” Goldberg jumped in again: “I’m going to object to the form of that question now. You’re talking about mandatory reporting.” Anderson agreed to rephrase it.
The Post-Dispatch editorial picks up at this point, never indicating that the question was predicated on Carlson’s knowledge of mandatory reporting laws in the 1980s. In other words, the video clip was rigged by Anderson to make the archbishop look as if he didn’t know it was a crime for an adult to have sex with a kid, and the media, led by the Post-Dispatch, published Anderson’s propaganda as if it were true. It is obvious that the media never independently verified Anderson’s selective account. Worse, the Post-Dispatch has refused to apologize to the archbishop. The editorial board is a professional disgrace.
Contact Gilbert Bailon, editor-in-chief of the Post-Dispatch: firstname.lastname@example.org