Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a New York Times obituary on Bernie McGuirk:
WABC legend Bernie McGuirk, who, along with Sid Rosenberg, commanded the number-one rated morning radio talk show in the New York area, “Bernie and Sid in the Morning,” died on October 5. On October 19, the New York Times ran an obituary on him by Ed Shanahan that read more like a tract than an honest summary of his professional life. [Full disclosure: I knew and liked Bernie for many years.]
McGuirk made a name for himself by working with Imus, the iconic radio talk-show host, for two decades; he was one of his sidekicks. Here is how the Times began its obit on him.
“The two men were fired because of a racist exchange about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, marring, but not ending, their shared radio success. Bernard McGuirk, a New York radio fixture who, as Don Imus’s on-air foil, helped incite a furor when the two men demeaned the Rutgers women’s basketball team in a racist, misogynistic exchange that marred—but only briefly disrupted—both of their careers, died on Oct. 5. He was 64.”
Never mind the incident took place 15 years ago—for the New York Times it was his defining moment.
What is really disturbing about the Times obit is that it reeks of politics. The newspaper doesn’t give a hoot about those who ham it up and say things that are offensive to their audience. In fact, they love it, providing what is said makes them laugh.
George Carlin was one of the most foul-mouthed and notoriously bigoted comedians in American history. When he died in 2008, the year after the Imus-McGuirk incident, the Times obit on him never mentioned his offensive language, or his bigoted commentary.
The first sentence of Carlin’s obit noted that he “gave voice to an indignant counterculture and assaulted the barricades of censorship on behalf of a generation of comics that followed him.” Indeed, this “scathing social critic” was congratulated for using obscenities on TV. Liberals loved his four-letter schtick so much that they awarded him four Grammy Awards.
Carlin had a particular hatred for Catholicism. “I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.” He once envisioned one religious person talking to another, saying, “My god has a bigger d*** than your god.” This is the kind of brilliance that the left loved about him.
More recently, there is no shortage of Catholic-bashing comedians who never get criticized by the Times or those on the left. The following is a small selection of what these people have said.
In 2012, Jon Stewart’s Comedy Central show featured a picture of a naked women with her legs spread apart with a nativity scene ornament in between. “Maybe women could protect their reproductive organs from unwanted medical intrusion with vagina mangers,” he said.
His successor, Trevor Noah, commented in 2020 how Covid was changing our lifestyle. He said that “it’s going to be hard to take Communion seriously when the priest has to throw wafers into people’s mouth from across the room, the body of Christ—from downtown.”
In 2013, when Catholic cardinals assembled to elect a new pope, Samantha Bee called the gathering a “grope,” likening it to a “molestation,” saying that the process was not complete until the cardinals reached a “fellatio,” or an “oral consensus,” culminating in “white smoke rising from the chimney.”
In 2014, Sarah Silverman hijacked Jesus to support abortion. He was depicted making fun of unborn babies, saying “fertilized eggs aren’t people. People are people.” He also announced that he is “Jesus F***ing Christ.”
In 2010, Jay Leno said, “I actually saw a Catholic priest today call for a boycott.” To which Kevin Eubanks replied, “Really?” Leno explained, “Well, maybe he was just calling for a boy on a cot.”
In 2015, David Letterman commented on Pope Francis attending World Youth Day, saying, “if there’s anything the kids can’t get enough of, it’s a 76-year-old virgin. Come on! World Youth Day. Or as the Vatican calls it, salute to altar boys.”
We have done lengthy reports on Bill Maher, the biggest anti-Catholic bigot in TV history. Here’s one example. In 2017, he noted at the start of the holiday season what Christmas is all about. “Jesus and Mary didn’t f***. Isn’t that the whole point of that story.”
In 1993, the Times ran a glowing piece on Howard Stern, the most filthy-mouthed radio talk-show host in history. It said he “built his reputation on the use of language and subject matter that offends many and amuses many others.”
George Carlin and Howard Stern picked up where Lenny Bruce left off, coarsening the air waves with their obscene skits and anti-Catholic rants. Yet they are considered geniuses by the Times. But not Bernie McGuirk. He has to be held to a different standard. He didn’t make liberals laugh.
Contact the Times’ obit editor, William McDonald: firstname.lastname@example.org