After William Donohue registered a complaint on October 12 against the student newspaper at Michigan State University, he received a call on October 18 from the president of the school, Peter McPherson. McPherson conveyed his sincere outrage at the offense and read to Donohue a public statement he released on the subject. Here’s what happened.
The campus newspaper of Michigan State University, The State News, printed a cartoon in its October 10 edition that showed a Christ-like figure nailed to a cross. Across the figure’s chest was written “Public Schools” and atop the cross was the inscription “Proposal 1”; the latter referred to a school voucher initiative on the ballot in November.
William Donohue commented to the media as follows:
“There is a problem with anti-Catholic bigotry on the campus of Michigan State University. Last June, I wrote to the general manager of The State News concerning a cartoon series called ‘Fetus X’ that featured a blasphemous treatment of Jesus. Berl Schwartz was quite understanding of my objection and requested that I write directly to the offending editor-in-chief, David Miller. This time I am contacting the university president, Peter McPherson.
“It will not do to say that the newspaper is not a campus publication because it receives no school funds. It is distributed on the campus and is understood as the school’s de facto newspaper. There is little doubt that if The State News spoke against a gay rights initiative by hanging Matthew Shepard from a cross, the paper would be confiscated immediately (and imagine putting ‘Morality’ across his chest for added emphasis!).”
Donohue had a constructive conversation with the school’s president and pledged he would inform Catholic League members of McPherson’s presidential response to his complaint.