On Sunday, September 22, WABC-TV’s “Eyewitness New,” the New York affiliate of ABC, aired a segment on the Pope’s trip to France. In this segment, protesters were shown greeting the Pope and an obscene sign held by one of the activists was given prominence by the cameraman. The sign read, “Pope Off, You F___ing Old B______.” The camera zeroed in on the sign making it easy to read.
After examining the news clip, Bill Donohue called WABC to protest. At first, his discussion with assistant news director Bart Feder seemed to get nowhere, but after hearing the totality of Donohue’s complaint, Feder admitted that the channel erred and apologized.
Apparently, a person who does not read English at WABC was given the assignment and was unaware of what the sign said. Nonetheless, the league believes that the news studio bears full responsibility for what happened. Donohue was reassured that this would never happen again.